Basketball: Infusion of new blood to bolster Youngblood

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The Independent Online
THE GREATER London Leopards' coach, Billy Mims, will make an attempt on a third successive Budweiser League title with an almost entirely rebuilt squad for the season which begins in two weeks.

Only the club captain, Robert Youngblood, returns from last season's quintet of Americans, following the departure of Eric Burks and Ryan Cuff and Manchester Giants' signing of Makeeba Perry and John White.

Michael Defoe has also left for Manchester, but Mims has made a trio of key English signings to line up alongside four new Americans in Bryan Williams, David Kruse, Paul Burke and Royce Olney. He has signed the 6ft 8in England international David Attewell and Stedroy Baker from Derby Storm and has also unearthed a 6ft 11in Englishman, Ben Baum from Oklahoma State.

Attewell is returning to home territory, after being developed through Humph Long's East London Royals junior programme, which is now part of the Leopards franchise.

Baum was born in Lakenheath, Suffolk, and after two years at the University of New Mexico moved to Oklahoma where he was back-up centre to Bryant Reeves, who joined Vancouver Grizzlies of the NBA.