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Leopards re-sign two key players ahead of Harlow debut

PUBLISHED: 16:48 09 September 2014 | UPDATED: 16:49 09 September 2014

Courtney Van Beest of Essex Leopards (Pic Paul Phillips)

Courtney Van Beest of Essex Leopards (Pic Paul Phillips)

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Coach Youngblood delighted with new additions

As his side prepare for their debut at Harlow Leisurezone on Sunday, Essex Leopards coach Robert Youngblood has re-signed two key players from last season’s side.

Courtney Van Beest, who finished second in the club’s MVP award behind the all-conquering Howard Crawford, returns and Youngblood is delighted to have snapped up the English guard/forward: “Re-signing Courtney was one of my highest priorities during the summer” he said. “Although he doesn’t often start, he brings us massive energy off the bench and is capable of playing starter’s minutes if needed.

“He’s one of the best English players in the league and a big part of why we finished second in the table last year and reached two semi-finals.”

Seven-foot centre Lawrence Brown also returns for a third season with the Big Cats, and Youngblood is hoping for big things from the 26-year-old: “When he’s playing well, Lawrence can cause real problems for other teams. He needs to be more consistent, but with the import big man I’m hoping to bring in we should be able to dominate inside.”

Leopards will make their debut in Harlow on Sunday, tip-off, 3.15pm when they host a Philippines Select team in a pre-season friendly. They started pre-season training with a scrimmage against Team USA Select

Admission prices have been slashed for the Big Cats’ first game in the town, and tickets can be ordered in advance at leopardsbasketball.co.uk. Adults £4, Child £2, Family (2A, 2C) £9.50, Family (2A, 3C) £11.

The Big Cats return to the Brentwood Centre the following week with a double header. On Friday, September 19 they host BBL side London Lions in a pre-season game (8pm) before Barking Abbey are the visitors two days later in the first round of the National Cup, tip-off 4pm.

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