PLAYER TO RE­TURN

IM­PORT BOOST FOR 2019 SEA­SON

Southern Telegraph - - News - Stu­art Hor­ton

Amer­i­can big man Josh Ritchart will re­turn to the Rock­ing­ham Flames for the 2019 State Bas­ket­ball League sea­son with un­fin­ished busi­ness.

Ritchart played 10 games for the Flames in 2018 be­fore his stay was cut short by a se­ri­ous foot in­jury.

The Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Davis grad­u­ate made an im­pact in his hand­ful of games, av­er­ag­ing 26.3 points, 7.3 re­bounds, 2.1 as­sists and 1.5 blocks a game, and gained se­lec­tion to the SBL All­Star game.

Rock­ing­ham Bas­ket­ball and Re­cre­ation As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent and SBL direc­tor Warren Bou­caut said the re­turn of the 206cm pow­er­for­ward would be a huge boost and Ritchart was keen to re­pay the club’s sup­port.

“We feel there’s some un­fin­ished busi­ness from 2018 with Josh, who un­for­tu­nately had to re­turn home af­ter get­ting a se­ri­ous foot in­jury,” Bou­caut said.

“We were keen for him to re­turn from the mo­ment he left be­cause he’s a qual­ity player. We stayed in touch in the pe­riod he was back at home and Josh said he felt very sup­ported by the club. We tried to get him ex­pert anal­y­sis of his in­jury and the best med­i­cal sup­port

. . . for that he wanted to come back.”

Bou­caut said the club was putting to­gether two “re­ally ex­cit­ing” teams for 2019 in­clud­ing new men’s coach Ryan Petrik, for­mer Wild­cats cap­tain Brad Rob­bins and the re­turns of Ritchart, Chudier Pal

and ex­cit­ing teen Luke Travers. He teased there would be “an­other cou­ple of high-pro­file sign­ings” added to the ros­ter.

Mean­while, the women’s team has added South West Slam­mers teen Tayah Bur­rows to its ros­ter along­side the re-signed Mad­die

Allen, Ari­ana Hether­ing­ton, Janelle Adams, Chelsea Arm­strong, Jesni Cooper and Zahli Jolly. Bou­caut said sup­port­ers’ pas­sion made 2018 a sea­son to re­mem­ber and hoped it could again pro­vide the im­pe­tus for a tilt at both ti­tles in 2019.

Pic­ture: Richard Polden

Rock­ing­ham Flames have re-signed im­port Josh Ritchart for the 2019 SBL sea­son.

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