Lloyd Samuels is the latest player from the Cayman Islands to storm the English courts.
Samuels, 26, recently signed on with the Tees Valley Mohawks in division one of the English Basketball League. Samuels will play alongside fellow Caymanians Jorge “Steamy” Ebanks, 27, and Jerome Narcisse, 26, in Middlesbrough. The trio previously played together on the Dominos Warriors men’s basketball team, propelling the Warriors to the 2011 national championship.
Samuels is being brought in to be a swing man and is listed as a guard/forward for head coach Steve Butler’s Mohawks. According to the team’s Twitter page, the move was done ahead of an exhibition game Saturday. Samuels will be gearing up for the team’s regular season opener when Tees Valley face the Newham Neptunes on Oct. 26.
In Samuels, Tees Valley reaffirmed their support of Cayman basketball. The Mohawks signed Narcisse, a West Bay native, in recent months and gave Ebanks, the team captain and league-leading scorer, a contract extension after the George Town native inked a one-year deal last summer.
Narcisse was a major offseason target for the club after excelling in division one of the Cayman Islands Basketball Association 2013 National Men’s League. The veteran was second in scoring, averaging 25.3 points per game, along with 7.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists. The former Hesser College star propelled his Warriors to the No. 2 seed and a spot in the finals, where they were beaten by Perry Levy and the Esso Blazers for a second consecutive year.
Armed with their Caymanian talent, the Mohawks will look to improve upon last year’s form. Tees Valley competed in the National Trophy final, finished fifth out of 14 teams with a 16-10 record and advanced to the league playoffs. The Mohawks had a potent offense with a league-best 2,231 points scored, but their defense allowed a league-worst 2,141 points.