It was a busy Bank Holiday weekend for Plymouth Raiders as they announced a triple return to their roster.
Will Neighbour, Denzel Ubiaro, and Elvisi Dusha will all return to Plymouth for the 2020-21 season.
6’10” Power Forward/Centre Neighbour, who re-joined Raiders during the latter part of 2019-20 season, is a former NCAA Div 1 alumni from Little Rock, USA who has also enjoyed spells in Spain, Sweden and Hungary and most recently with London City Royals. This will be his third stint with the city’s BBL team.
Will, who recently turned 30-years-old, and spent lockdown living just outside of Plymouth, adds experience, a significant outside shooting threat and as Raiders fans know well, a fantastic team member and leader both on and off the court.
“I’m really looking forward to coming back and playing for Plymouth,” said Neighbour. “During my time at the club I have built several good loyal friends who have treated me like family. So, I have another level of love for Plymouth and the Raiders now, this feels like home.
“It looks like we are going to have an incredibly talented team and I’m very excited about getting on court with everyone and competing for a championship.”
Coach Paul James added, “It’s great to have Will return for the coming season. Will only joined us late on last season but made a positive contribution straight away. Will is another high-quality domestic player we’ve added to out squad and we expect more of the same from him this coming season.”
Coach James also moved to retain the services of South London and honorary Plymothian, Denzel Ubiaro.
The 23-year-old fan favourite and former England Junior will continue with the Raiders into his fourth campaign for the senior BBL team.
Having become an established member of the elite team averaging 6.7 points per game from 19.6 minutes, Denzel also starred for the Marjon BUCS side during their promotion winning university drive last season, while studying for his Sports Therapy degree.
“It’s exciting coming back for my fourth year with the Raiders and cannot wait to really do some amazing things this coming season with the team, staff and our new friends, BAU Global,” said Ubiaro.
“With an unexpected halt to last season, this one coming is going to be an incredibly special and successful 2020-21 season the fans more than deserve.”
Raiders Head Coach Paul James reflected, “Denzel will be playing his fourth season with the Raiders and we have seen him grow and improve as a player and person every season. Last season, he was arguably having his season to date and before the season was cut short.
“A student at Marjon university, we’re looking for him to continue this upward curve in his professional development and improve on his performances once more.”
British/Albanian Point Guard Elvisi Dusha also returns to Plymouth Raiders, in a move that reunites him with his former coach, Paul James.
The 26-year-old is an experienced BBL campaigner having kick started his BBL career with Surrey in 2013, before spells at Raiders, Worcester Wolves and Cheshire Phoenix before joining the London City Royals in 2018-19.
Dusha in recent seasons enjoyed one of the highest assist rates in the league with an average of seven per game and home fans will look forward to seeing a player who is fiercely competitive, back in the Raiders green.
“I’m excited to be a Raider again and I loved my short time here previously, and the fans and city really know how to get behind their team,” said Dusha.
Head Coach Paul James added, “Still only 26, Dusha has a lot of experience playing in the BBL. In the past few seasons he has helped his teams to Finals and won the Trophy with the London City Royals in 2019.
“Elvisi is a real competitor, is selfless and certainly strengthens our depth throughout the squad.”