The world’s tallest professional basketball player has put pen to paper on a deal to join the Cheshire Phoenix.
One-time Harlem Globetrotter Paul Sturgess, the second tallest living Englishman, has signed for head coach John Coffino’s BBL side.
The 7ft 8ins, 26-year-old centre, originally from Loughborough in Leicestershire, made his name during a two-year spell with the world-famous Globetrotters, where he was nicknamed ‘Tiny’.
While the Globetrotters are know for their exhibitionism, theatre and comedy elements on the court, Sturgess has a serious competitive pedigree and has most recently played his basketball in the NBA Development League (D-League).
Sturgess said: “I am looking forward to joining the team. I have been enjoying my time back at home in England and for the chance to play in the BBL whilst I am here is something I will relish.
“I am excited to join my new team mates and hope to fulfil whatever role is given to me.”
Sturgess played his college basketball at Mountain State University in West Virginia and, after enjoying success on tour with the Globetrotters, he was drafted to D-League side Springfield Armour in 2013.
Later that season he was traded to another D-League outfit, Texas Legends, but his size 20 boots and ability to grab the rim without leaving the floor will now grace the Northgate Arena.
Nix head coach Coffino said: “We are so excited to have the opportunity to bring in someone who can play in the middle for us and protect the basket as well as rebound and score.
“Paul is a unique and special talent that only comes along once in a lifetime. The fans will take to him immediately and we look forward to his transition into our family.”
Sturgess’ addition will add some much needed depth to the Nix roster and comes on the back of the capture of 6ft 6ins forward and former London Lion Joel Barkers on an initial trial basis.
Andrew Donaldson, Nix chairman, said: “We don’t just want to win, we want to entertain.
“Paul will help us do both and will make a huge difference to our on-court offer whilst proving to be an inspiration off the court in the community.”