Manchester Giants have signed American point guard Mike McCall Jr for the 2018/19 season.
McCall, 27, hails from Chicago and played in the NBA G-League for Iowa Energy in his first season as a professional back in 2014/15.
He then moved to Deportivo Quevedo in Ecuador, averaging 32 points per game, before spending two seasons at his hometown club Chicago Steam in the ABA, where he averaged 19 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals per game, plus a three-point conversion rate of 40%.
Giants coach Danny Byrne said: “Mike comes to us with perhaps the best pedigree of any player that Giants have had since our return to the BBL. After a stellar college career, his professional career hasn’t always gone to plan, but he has a big opportunity now. Mike was our top target all summer and we’re delighted to have him.
“He is exactly the kind of point guard that thrives in the BBL. If we need him to score, he can score in a variety of ways; if we need him to facilitate, or his shot’s not dropping, then he can facilitate. He’s a tenacious on-ball defender too, and can set the tone and tempo for what we’re trying to do as a team.
“What has impressed me most about Mike is his natural feel for the game, and ability to make the right decision in any situation. That is something we have lacked in recent seasons.
“Bringing in such a high-calibre US point guard also marks a structural change to the make-up of our team. It is important to say that we haven’t signed any player in isolation, but have started with a clean slate and formed a unit that will function together. I think Mike and Callum complement each other extremely well, in what’s going to be a very strong back court.”
McCall had four standout years with Saint Louis Billikens, including three NCAA tournament trips. When he left he was 5th all-time in steals, 7th all-time in three-pointers made and 19th in scoring. He averaged 9pts, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, and shot the three at 36%.
McCall said: “I’ve heard great things about the league and the city and I’m looking forward to meeting the fans and my team mates and having a great season this year.
“It’s my first time in Europe so I’m excited by that and I’m looking forward to leading the offence at the Giants.
“I’m used to playing against great guards and there are lots of great point guards from here in Chicago that play across the world.
“I spoke with coach about what he’s trying to do and my job is to do whatever he and the team need me to do.”
McCall Jr is the first of three new American recruits for Byrne ahead of the new season, which gets underway with a pre-season test against the USA Select on Sunday September 2 (5pm tip-off) at Trafford Sportsdome.
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