CHESTER Jets have signed a fifth player to their roster for the 2003/04 BBL Championship season with Michael Nurse announced as the latest acquisition.
Like former Jets guard John Thomas, Nurse, 25, is a native of Brooklyn, New York, and he joins the club following a spell with BBL rivals Thames Valley Tigers, where he quickly established himself as a creative shooting guard.
The 6ft 1ins star ranked ninth in the BBL in scoring with 19.58 points per game and also ranked highly in other statistical categories, averaging 5.35 assists (5th) and 1.65 steals (20th) per game while being voted into the BBL All Star team.
Jets coach Paul Smith said: 'There are a number of things about Michael Nurse that impress me; his all round game is very good but, in particular, he can get to the basket, which is important because of the style that we want to play.
'He can shoot the three, he can run the team and I know he can play the one and the two spot. He also plays defence and I really like his competitive spirit because he really likes to win and he hates to lose, anyone can see that.'
Prior to his rookie year in the BBL during the 2002/03 season, Nurse played for Degusta-Malfarb Ostrow Wlkp in Poland and before that for Des Moines Dragons in the American IBA league.
He turned professional in 2000, after graduating from Iowa State University, where he had been a Big 12 Conference winner.
Nurse will join fellow new recruit Rod Brown in the Jets' backcourt, after Brown recently signed from Essex Leopards, and coach Smith thinks the pair will work well together.
He said: 'They can both create for their team-mates and that is really important, because assists have been a big factor in our success in recent years. We play as a team and there is no one go-to guy. Everybody takes a shot if it's right for them to do that. Also, they are all happy to get the ball to their team-mates when they are in position.'
Although the Jets' starting five is now complete, a further signing is expected this week with former favourite Billy Singleton finally poised to return.
* Ex-Jet John Thomas has teamed up with former Sheffield Sharks coach Chris Finch by signing for German club Gressen.