Essex Leopards sign Wagener as Mascall-Wright departs
PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 January 2019
(c) Paul Phillips
It's one in, one out as Leopards prepare for Sunday's game against Manchester Magic at the Brentwood Centre.
GuardLuke Mascall-Wright has moved to a club in Italy but the Big Cats have quickly swooped to sign German big man Daniel Wagener as they look to consolidate their place in the play-off zone.
Mascall-Wright obviously caught the eye of the Naple-based club he will be joining when he drained a club record eight-from-nine three-point efforts in the win against league champions Loughborough, and coach Thomas Baker is sad to see him leave.
“What can I say, it is gutting to lose someone of Luke’s quality,” Baker admitted.
“He has consistently been an important member of this team and he has been integral to what we are trying to achieve this year and I think his recent performances just go to show how good he is and how effective he can be at this level.
“It has been a pleasure to be part of his journey, I wish him the best in Italy and I am thankful for everything he has done for us this season so far.”
Although Wagener is a diifferent type of player, the six foot eight inch forward comes out of Frederick Maryland College in the State.
“Daniel will be a great addition to our team” he said.
“His size and strengths will provide us with cover behind Lee but his mobility also gives us a chance to play him and Lee together which will allow us to go bigger tactically against some teams.
“It is something I have been looking for all season and it is great that we have managed to sort this out before the deadline, I feel he will have a real positive impact for us.”
Wagener is expected to make his debut in Saturday’s trip to Derby Trailblazers before Leopards return to the Brentwood Centre the following day to face basement side Magic.
Centre Lee Hodges said: “The team has had a nice weekend off after back to back double header weekends.
“We almost didn’t welcome a weekend off after four wins in a row but it’s important to allow your body to recover.
“Now we work this week to get ready for two more tough games. One away then one home at Brentwood, we always seem to attract a decent crowd at Brentwood and I really enjoy playing there.
“Although Manchester have only won one game they can’t be taken lightly and we will need to be at our best to make sure we get a win.”