AJ returns to Leopards

Levett Essex Leopards have already begun building for the 2017/18 season with the announcement that AJ Roberts will return to the club.

The American guard was a key part of the Leopards during 2016/17, averaging 15.45 points and 8.05 rebounds per game for the Big Cats. Able to play as a point guard, shooing guard or as a small forward, he also added 5.82 assists 1.36 steals and 1.18 blocks per game.

The 6’4″ New York native admitted that it was an easy decision to return to the Leopards: “I’m really happy to be re-signing with the Essex Leopards for 2017-2018 season” he said.

“I feel there’s unfinished business to be taken care of and I’m looking forward to getting the club back up to Division One.

“I appreciate the Leopards organization for believing in me and keeping me around for another year! I look forward to seeing all the fans and supporters for the upcoming season.”

New coach Thomas Baker is delighted to secure Roberts’ signature so early in the close season: “It’s important we start the rebuilding of the club and our push for promotion back to Division One as early as we possibly can.
“So tying down AJ for next season is a huge step in the right direction and having sat down and spoken with him; his beliefs and thoughts around next year are positive and match that of the coaching staff.

“I believe with his leadership both on and off the court and the performances he showed at times last year we will be back where we belong in no time.

“It is now about making sure we are more consistent with everything we do and Aj knows he has a huge role to play next year but I firmly believe he is going to be a great asset for us next season and I can’t wait to continue to work with him in putting Leopards back on the map.”

General manager Dave Ryan echoed Baker’s words: “It’s great to have AJ back. Along with Dougie [Bennett] he showed some real leadership when we lost Mike Martin in January.

“His stats speak for themselves but he’s also been a real asset with our coaching, and I’m sure he’ll be a success both on and off the court with us next season.”