Worthing Thunder sign four in new bid for basketball title

Worthing Thunder have made a statement of intent for the 2022-23 national basketball league campaign with a number of big-name signings.

Last year, the team finished fifth in division one and suffered a first-round exit from the play-offs in a 88-79 defeat by Nottingham Hoods.

Now Thunder have been busy this off-season with a number of moves, as reported on the Basketball England website.

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Zaire Taylor has now shifted from his spot anchoring the Thunder team to a place on the bench as their new head coach.

Hafeez Abdul has signed for another Worthing Thunder season / Picture: Kyle Hemsley

And it's an exciting time for Worthing as they aim to capture a first league title since 2006-07, ending the dominance of neighbours and rivals Solent Kestrels in the process.

Part of the plan to topple the Kestrels involves recruiting two of their stars from recent seasons in Orlan Jackman and Andre Arissol.

The duo, both part of the England 3x3 mix for the Commonwealth Games, have played a major part in helping Solent lift almost every piece of silverware available in the recent years, and both will now be suiting up for the Thunder in 2022-23.

Worthing have also recruited two of the league's most exciting imports from last season in Newcastle duo David Moya and Ronald Blain.

The pair helped the north east side to a top-eight finish a year ago and a spot in the play-offs, with Blain finishing a league-third best for points per game at 22.5, whilst Moya led all division one players with 9.3 average per game.

It's not just new faces for Thunder either, with 2021-22 British Team of the Year selection Hafeez Abdul making a return to Worthing for another season. The 6'7" forward averaged 18.6 PPG and 7.4 RPG last season.

Taylor said: “As talented a player that Dre [Arissol] is, the biggest draw is his winning attitude and approach to the game. I think he’ll play an instrumental role in building our culture, A culture of winning and professionalism.

"Orlan is a massive signing for the team. He’s a proven champion in the league and leagues beyond.

"Being a first year coach I think it was essential to pick up an established veteran with championship pedigree and I couldn’t think of a better player to tick both boxes."​​​​​​​