Jalon Pipkins could be key addition as Sheffield Sharks seek to end trophy drought

Sheffield Sharks believe they have made the type of signing that can elevate them into trophy contenders once more in the BBL.

The Sharks have re-signed 24-year-old guard Jalon Pipkins on a one-year deal after the dynamic Texan had a transformative impact on their campaign last season.

Sharks were struggling for cohesion at the turn of the year, injuries and players coming on and off the roster affecting th eir form to the point where their streak of making the British Basketball League play-offs 28 years in a row, hung in the balance.

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Pipkins arrived in mid-February and had an instant impact. They won eight of their next nine games, defeating champions Leicester Riders and champions-elect London Lions along the way.

Jalon Pipkins drives to the basket for Sheffield Sharks (Picture: Adam Bates)Jalon Pipkins drives to the basket for Sheffield Sharks (Picture: Adam Bates)
Jalon Pipkins drives to the basket for Sheffield Sharks (Picture: Adam Bates)

Although they did not progress beyond a two-legged play-off quarter-final with the Riders, it was a strong finish and bringing back Pipkins could be a vital acquisition for the season ahead as they look to mark their move into the new Park Community Arena powered by Canon Medical Systems for the 2023/24 campaign with a first trophy since 2016.

The dynamic, athletic guard averaged 10.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 44.4 per cent and an unerring 95 per cent from the free-throw line.

On returning to Sheffield, Pipkins said: “Playing with the Sheffield Sharks last season was an incredible experience and I’m excited and honoured to return to the team for another year.

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"The fans and the organization have been incredibly supportive, and I look forward to giving my all on the court once again.”

Head coach Atiba Lyons expressed his enthusiasm for Pipkins’ return.

“Having Jalon back on the roster isbfantastic news for us,” said Lyons. “His dedication to the game, his work ethic, and his ability to elevate the team’s performance were evident throughout the previous season. We believe Jalon’s skills and commitment will play a big role in driving the Sharks towards a successful season.”

Pipkins joins Bennett Koch and Jordan Ratinho in re-signing for next year along with new acquisition Jubril Adekoya.