CHESHIRE Phoenix have unveiled exciting young forward Yannick Crowder as their latest recruit for the 2013/14 BBL Championship campaign.

Standing at 6ft 8ins, the 22-year-old from Stone Mountain, Georgia, earned the nickname the Sultan of Swat at Florida A&M College, thanks to his average of one block and five rebounds in every game of his college career.

Last season he turned out for MLP Academics Heidelberg in the German Pro A league, where he averaged almost two blocks per game.

He will add a critical defensive dimension to the Phoenix’s game which head coach John Lavery hopes will fuel his team’s offence.

Lavery said: “It is vital to have players who are committed on defence and Yannick has proved that he is no slouch at that end of the court.

“His athleticism will be important to the team and I expect him to become a firm fan favourite.”

Named after French Open tennis winner Yannick Noah, Crowder tested that athleticism last October when, on the advice of a former coach, he travelled to the Telstra Dome in Melbourne, Australia to enter the Australian Rules football draft combine.

It was an unusual move for the young hotshot but it showed that he is not afraid to go out on a limb in pursuit of his goal to become a professional athlete.

He joins experienced forward/centre Calvin Clemmons, Phoenix stalwart Shawn Myers and the returning Chris Pearce in Lavery’s Nix squad so far.