Lasker brings mass of experience back to Raiders
Drew Lasker says his maturity and desire can help Plymouth Raiders take the final step and win a British Basketball League title next season.
The Raiders reached the final of the BBL Cup and Trophy in 2011-12, but lost both to Newcastle Eagles, who completed a rare clean-sweep of all four BBL championships.
The campaign still, arguably, represented the Raiders' best in British basketball's top competition, which they first joined in 2004-05. They had only reached two finals, in 2007 and 2009, in seven seasons prior to 2011-12.
The BBL Trophy in 2007 remains the Raiders' only BBL title. "I honestly think that what I'm going to bring to the team is motivation, which will maybe push them over the hump," said Lasker, who starred for the Devon club from 2005 to 2010 and returns to the Pavilions this summer after two years away.
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"I don't care about leading the team in scoring, or individual accolades, I only care about bringing a championship to Plymouth."
The American guard, now 29, starred when the Raiders upset the Eagles on Tyneside in the 2007 BBL Trophy final. Alongside forwards Anthony Rowe and Colin O'Reilly, he is one of three names confirmed on Plymouth's 2012-13 roster. Lasker added: "I remember when we won the trophy and parading it around Home Park, and what a great feeling it was. I want to feel that again. I'm going to do whatever it takes."
Lasker remains primarily a shooting-guard, but he has matured in the last 24 months and can also play point-guard, a versatility Plymouth coach Gavin Love was keen to add to his starting line-up.
Lasker sat out much of 2009-10 before joining an injury-ravaged Newcastle roster for the final nine games of the campaign. He played more last season, and made 23 appearances for Guildford Heat.
Manchester Giants and East London Royals will join the BBL for the 2012-13 season.
The Royals will be based at the Sporthouse in Mayesbrook Park, Dagenham, which has a capacity of 4,000 spectators, while the Giants will be based at Wright Robinson Sports College, on the east side of Manchester.
Essex Leopards have been granted a BBL franchise from the start of 2013/14 season.