Zak Wells has announced his intention to retire from professional basketball at the end of the current season, after a great career in the BBL, internationally for GB and overseas.
Wells started basketball at 17, where he participated in a scheme called ‘Tall and Talented’ at Barking Abby. Before turning pro in 2014 with Leeds Force in the BBL, he represented Great Britain at the FIBA Under-20 European Championships, where the team secured promotion from Division B.
Zak spent his first two professional seasons with Leeds with averages of 10+ points per game on both occasions. In the 2016-17 season, following a short stint overseas in Slovenia for Hopsi Polzela, Wells returned to the BBL, joining London Lions.
At the start of the following season, newly appointed Raiders’ head coach, Gavin Love, signed Wells and appointed him club captain – a position he has held over the past two seasons. Returning to the Raiders for a second season, this time under Paul James, Wells is currently playing a crucial role in attempting to bring Play-Offs basketball back to the city for the first time in seven years.
“It was a big decision deciding to retire, especially at the age of 26, but I know it’s one I will not regret,” Wells said of his retirement.
“I have had the privilege of playing professionally for seven years now, both abroad and domestically, and have had the honour of representing my country with the Great Britain men’s team.
“I always knew that playing basketball wasn’t something I was looking to do for years and years. I now look forward to starting a new career and facing new challenges pursuing various business ventures.
“It has been a pleasure to end my career here in Plymouth, as they have been so good to me, for which I couldn’t be more thankful. I wish them nothing but success in the future and I look forward to following them, and getting to a game to watch next season.”
Coach James added: “Zak doesn’t get the credit he deserves because the things he does so well don’t always show up in the stat lines.
“I know the great things he brought to the table, as do his teammates. Zak has been an integral and valuable member of the team this season, and a great club captain.
“I wish him every success in the next chapter of his life.”
Richard Mollard added: “Zak has been a great addition to the team the past two seasons, and a fantastic club Captain.
“Much of Zak’s value cannot always be seen on the stats sheet, but his contribution both on and off the court has been invaluable, and he’s going to be sorely missed in and around the club.
“Having coached alongside him this past year at the new Whitleigh Warriors CVL sessions, I’ve seen firsthand what a brilliant role model he is, and how much he enjoys working with the next generation of players, so I truly hope he finds a way to keep this up, despite his professional playing retirement.
“He’s become a friend to us all, and on behalf of everyone at the club, I wish Zak all the very best with his future career.”
Zak’s retirement will come at the end of this season’s campaign, and the club thanks him for his dedication over the past two seasons, on and off the court, and wishes him all the best for the future.