Cheshire Phoenix have made their first signing of the off-season by securing the services of popular guard Devan Bailey on a two-year deal.
Bailey was one of the standout performers for John Lavery’s side last season, helping them to fifth place, a play-off berth and a BBL Trophy semi-final, and was voted MVP by Nix fans at the end of the campaign.
The 25-year-old, from Helsby, was a constant in the Nix starting five last season having arrived at the club prior to last term following a stint at the Manchester Giants.
“We are thrilled to be able to announce that Devan has signed,” said Nix chairman Andrew Donaldson. “He is not just a homegrown talent, he is a Cheshire-grown talent.
“Signing him to a longer deal not only gives the team continuity and stability but also shows the board's commitment to improving on last season's results and building a successful club.
“He made everyone sit up last season and he has proved his worth, both on and off the court for the club. The fans recognised his contribution in a season where there were plenty of contenders for the MVP award and we believe we have secured the services of one of the best British talents in the BBL Championship.”
A former pupil of Helsby High School, Bailey, who has also represented Great Britain, expressed his delight at being able to extend his stay with his hometown club until the end of 2016.
Bailey said: “I am really happy to be here. Andrew (Donaldson) has shown a lot of faith in me by offering a two-year deal, which is rare in the BBL. I know the club will demand a lot from me in return but I like that because I demand a lot from myself.
“I am really enjoying my basketball at the moment and I am keen to build and improve on what we achieved last season.”
Devan admitted being voted as MVP was a surprise to him and said that the support of the Nix fans was one of the motivations for him to sign up.
“I was very shocked to get the MVP from the fans,” he said. “But they know their basketball here and it was nice they appreciated the work I put in for the team.
“They have really got behind me since I arrived here and they make the club what it is. I really want to bring success to the club for them and I believe we will.”