Basketball: Whyte back in contention with Eagles

By Richard Taylor
Friday 22 November 2002 01:00

The 7ft 1in England international Ian Whyte is set to return to the BBL Championship for former club Newcastle Eagles tomorrow, three days after missing the debâcle of England's 97-39 European Championship defeat to Italy at Coventry's Skydome.

Whyte is England's second-most capped international among current players, with 80 appearances. But the England coach Laszlo Nemeth did not pick him for the games against Italy, away to Slovenia tomorrow and against the Czech Republic on Wednesday because he has not had a club since playing on the continent last season.

Whyte is now studying for a masters degree in Newcastle, but Eagles' player-coach Fab Flournoy hopes to sign him as a temporary replacement for Niki Arinze, who could be out of action until Christmas with a shoulder injury. Whyte, whose previous spell with Newcastle was in 1998, is set to play against another of his former clubs, Essex Leopards, at Brentwood.

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