Just days before the start of the new British Basketball League (BBL) season, Manchester Giants have added local forward Daniel Pilkington to the squad, and he is eligible to play in this weekend’s BBL Cup double-header against Radisson RED Glasgow Rocks and B. Braun Sheffield Sharks.
Pilkington, from Leigh, is 6’7” and turns 28 in October; and as the former Captain of Manchester Magic in NBL Division 1 he brings vital size and further experience to Danny Byrne’s team.
Pilkington and Byrne are a familiar pairing, having joined forces in award-winning fashion in Giants’ colours in 2016-17 when, for the club’s second team, Pilkington won the NBL Division 4 North MVP award and Byrne scooped Coach of the Year.
In between those spells he also featured for Liverpool in NBL Division 2. Pilkington has had one previous season in the BBL, playing 18 games for Mersey Tigers in 2012-13, averaging 4.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, including a high of 10 points and 5 rebounds against Sunday’s opponents Sheffield.
“This is a crucial signing for us,” said Head Coach Danny Byrne. “Dan gives us that extra size that we need in the front court rotation, and brings further experience to an already very experienced group.
“He’s a smart, intense and hardworking player who brings a great skillset covering any of the forward positions. It means Del’vin (Dickerson) and Benson (Arogbo) can concentrate the majority of their time at the three – their more natural positions – and gives us much better balance.
“I’ve known Dan for a while, worked with him before, and he’s a player who could have stepped back up to the BBL at any time in recent years. I’m glad that he’s chosen now to do so, and he knows that there are good minutes available to him to prove what he can do at this level as he enters the prime of his career.”
Daniel Pilkington, who has been training with his new teammates this week, added, “I’m very much looking forward to this season with Giants, as it’s been a dream of mine to play for the club in the BBL since I was a kid in the ‘90s. To live that out is an honour for me.
“The team is solid, great leaders, great support, and I’m there for when Coach needs me to come in and do a job on defence and on the boards.
“I know the fans back the team 100% and giving them a season to remember is important to us. We are looking forward to seeing all the fans at Friday night’s game! And #beeGIANT!”