Manchester Giants are delighted to announce the return of former BBL treble-winner James Jones.
Jones, 34, was named the British Player of the Year in his last season in the BBL for the Giants back in 2013/14, before moving to Canada for an assistant coaching position at the University of Alberta while completing his masters degree.
That was the end of two seasons with the Giants, the latter finishing in the play-offs, which followed an accomplished career in the BBL with Guildford Heat, Plymouth Raiders and Mersey Tigers, where he won the BBL Championship, BBL Trophy and BBL play-offs in 2010/11.
He now returns to Manchester to link up with younger brother Callum and play on Danny Byrne’s exciting new look roster for the new season, which gets underway with a trip to Sheffield on Friday September 21.
James said: “I’ve been thinking about returning to play for the past year, and it was the right time on a personal level to come home.
“I had preliminary talks with the club and Danny and arranged to sit down in the summer and sorted it out. I wouldn’t say I had unfinished business, but if I’m playing, I want to be in Manchester and playing for my hometown club.
“I wouldn’t have come back if I didn’t think I could get to the standards I set before and quick. I wouldn’t enjoy it if that was the case. I’m very motivated, I’ve been working hard and I want to hit the ground running.
“My game was never based on explosive athleticism! I’ve never carried much weight. My body is in good shape, and not having the pounding on the joints, the injuries and the pre-seasons for four years will have benefited me.
“Going to Canada has been very good on both a personal and professional level but with our studies finishing it was a good time to come back, especially to get the support of family with our twin girls. My wife Laura has been amazing, she’s been unbelievable in the past year and I wouldn’t be able to do this without her support.
“I’m really looking forward to coming back and helping to turn things around. There’s no reason why a team in Manchester can’t be very successful and move forward.”
Jones joins his brother Callum, Ingus Bankevics, American point guard Mike McCall Jr, small forward Torry Butler, power forward Willie Clayton and centre Vlatko Granic on the Giants roster for the new season.
Coach Byrne said: “James was one of best shooting guards in the league, I know he’s not played for a few years, but with a good summer and pre-season, I think we can see a good, experienced James Jones return to that form.
“The rest of not playing for a few years could serve him well where his body’s concerned and we can get the best out of him. We know what he’s capable of, he’s a winner, he’s won everything in the BBL, he’s got a great percentage from the three point line.
“The fans are going to love this signing, and they’ll be excited to see him wear that green vest again.”
James is in line to make his return to Giants colours in the pre-season test against USA Select at Trafford Sportsdome on Sunday September 2 (5pm tip). Tickets are now available online or by calling 0161 747 2485.