Drew Lasker to make Plymouth Raiders return, again
DREW LASKER will become Marjon Plymouth Raiders' second new summer signing after the guard joined the BBL Championship club for a third time.
Raiders coach Gavin Love has prised the lightning-quick and explosive guard away from Guildford Heat, who had been hoping to secure the 31-year-old American's services for the 2012/13 BBL Championship season.
Lasker's return to Plymouth marks a double triumph for Love who, as revealed exclusively in Herald Sport on Saturday, has already moved swiftly to retain the services of club captain Anthony Rowe.
Like Plymouth-born Rowe, Lasker has signed a one-year contract with the Pavilions-based basketball club.
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Although United States-born, Lasker is married to a British girl and thus qualifies as a 'home' player through his domestic residential status, leaving Love free to use his three non-EU permits elsewhere.
The signings of Lasker and Rowe mean Love is free to offer deals to American trio Jeremy Bell, Lehmon Colbert and Paul Williams.
All three played for Raiders last season with considerable success as the city club reached two finals, the semi-finals of the BBL Championship play-offs and fourth place in the league.
Love said the prospect of Lasker and point-guard Bell playing together in the back-court is a prospect that he and everyone connected with the club would savour over the summer.
"I'm really pleased to announce the signing of Drew Lasker for Raiders," said Love.
"Perhaps I should I say the re-signing of Drew as I know he's a big favourite with our fans.
"And with good reason, as we all know what he brings to the table: excitement, intelligence and a lot of great basketball.
"If, as we hope, Jeremy Bell re-signs, too, then having him playing alongside Drew in the back court is an awesome prospect.
"And, as Drew is no longer classified as an overseas or permit player, it leaves me free to offer deals for the guys we had with us last year, Jeremy, Lehmon and Paul.
"So, to say I'm delighted with my two new signings now that Anthony (Rowe) has agreed a new deal, too, is an understatement."
Lasker first joined Raiders in 2005/06 season and was the club's top scorer for the next four years.
The mercurial American was part of the Raiders line-up which beat Newcastle Eagles to win the BBL Trophy in 2007 when then Plymouth captain Love collected the prize.
He rejoined Raiders midway through the 2009 season after the injured Eric Flato had to leave just before Christmas.
Lasker signed up for the mighty Eagles for the 2010/11 BBL campaign before spending last year with Guildford.
Raiders captain Rowe joined in the praise for Lasker and said he was looking forward to playing with him again.
Rowe said: "I'm really pleased that we've got Drew on board – I've played with and against him and know what an exciting and influential player he is.
"He's got so much savvy and ability and if Jeremy comes back and we hold on to some of our other players, then we'll be a force next season."