Leicester Riders have added British forward Jesse Chuku to their roster ahead of the 2019-20 British Basketball League season.
Chuku will make his BBL debut this fall for the Riders after eight seasons abroad, three of which professionally, onein Greece and then Spain the last two seasons.
Graduating from Lehigh University averaging 9.6ppg and 5rpg in his senior season Chuku headed to Greece to play for Kolossos Rodou BC in a productive role off the bench for the side before heading to LEB Gold competing for Leyma Basquet Coruna (6.5ppg & 3.3rpg) then Melilla Basloncesto (4.3ppg & 2.5rbs) last season.
“I’m very excited to sign for The Riders,”commented Chuku. “I believe that there is a professional atmosphere here and a winning culture that I am looking forward to being a part of.”
Chuku is especially pleased to be returning to play in front of home fans for the first time since a junior.
“After playing abroad for the past eight years, I feel a relief and excitement about returning home to play in front of family, friends, and familiar faces.”
Coach Paternostro did not hesitate at the chance to sign Chuku this summer.
“We are thrilled to be working with Jesse this season. When we found out he wanted to stay in England to play this season we jumped at the chance to sign him. He is a player with quality professional experience and is a guy we feel will fit in well with the way we play.
“He is strong and very athletic so can block shots and can really run the floor, his versatility is something that we are looking forward to utilising this season.”
Jesse Chuku, who becomes the first new signing of the summer, also commented on his thoughts on the BBL’s progression in recent years.
“The BBL has come a long way especially in recent years, I have been impressed by the talent it has drawn to the league and the increasing interest among people. I definitely see it having exponential potential for growth in the future, especially as more homegrown talent joins the league.”