Vince Macaulay’s new-look Manchester Giants side are counting the hours to their season opener at Bristol Flyers this Friday evening.
Heavyweight additions to the roster include two-time BBL MVP Rahmon Fletcher, who averaged over 10 assists a game last season alongside 15.2 points.
Providing interior support will be Legend Robertin, who was acquired from the Surrey Scorchers over the summer.
Coach Macaulay has previously hailed the 7”1 center’s upsides to the team, and looks forward to “harnessing his power” and using his attributes to allow the Giants to “be very aggressive defensively”.
Add to this the pick up of title-winning former Leicester Riders forward William Lee, as well as a first professional contract for NCAA-proven forward Tajh Green, and there’s a sense for the high-skilled, high energy outfit being constructed in the heart of Manchester.
The Giants roster, which has retained only one player from the previous season in their all-time FGM and assist leader Callum Jones, has been carefully curated in an organizational rebuild from the ground up.
Macaulay enters the Giants fold with a track record of success in British Basketball, having won the BBL League, Cup and Trophy whilst in charge of the London Lions as well as twice winning BBL coach of the year in 2008 and 2019.
The desire to create a lasting legacy and sustainable future for the franchise – now entering its tenth season in the BBL – is palpable during their Wednesday morning practice ahead of the curtain-raiser in the South West. From the players and the coaching staff, through to the fanbase new and old alike, there is a growing optimism surrounding the organization, who count Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham amongst their supporters.
The road-opener leads into a tantalizing clash with last season’s runners-up Sheffield Sharks on Sunday evening, a trans-Pennine battle that will see the majority of Giants fans experience the Macaulay project for the very first time.
The side are expected to run out on the National Basketball Performance Centre court to a euphoric crowd who will provide strength in numbers, with high hopes and lofty ambitions surrounding all things Giants as the 2022-23 season draws ever closer.
Tip-off is scheduled for 5pm and there are still tickets available on the Manchester Giants website.
Words: Nathan Blackwood