Forward Patrick Horstmann has revealed Sheffield Sharks coach Atiba Lyons convinced him that joining the BBL Trophy holders would be a good career choice.
The 26-year-old, who has represented the German national team at Under 16s, U18s and U20 levels, becomes the Sharks second summer signing, having completed his senior year at Northwood University, West Palm Beach, Florida.
Horstmann has also previously had spells at Urspring and Ehingen in Germany, his home country.
He said: “Atiba (Lyons) spent almost an entire day in the car just so he can meet me for a couple hours and work me out. It showed me his professionalism, how much he cared and wanted me to become a part of the Sheffield Sharks.
“After our conversations, I knew I wanted be a Shark.”
Standing at 6ft 7ins tall, Horstmann finished his career with the Northwood Seahawks as their all-time leading rebounder with 1154 and second leading scorer of all-time with 1501 points.
In his final season, Horstmann averaged 9.9 points per game with 6.9 rebounds and shot 48.4 per cent from the field.
Of his decision to move to Sharks, he said: “I have actually never been in England but I have some friends here at my university that are from Sheffield and I only heard great things about it.
“I am very excited about getting to know the city and the people of Sheffield. I also look forward to getting to know my teammates and everybody in the Sheffield Sharks organisation. I hope we defend the BBL Trophy and finish among the top teams in the league.”
Lyons has expressed his delight at securing Horstmann’s signature, saying: “Patrick is a great athlete who hits the boards hard and has a good shot. His record at Northwood speaks for itself and I’m impressed by his attitude and work ethic.”
Horstmann joins recent Sharks addition Brian Barbour at the English Institute of Sport. The Sharks have also resigned captain Mike Tuck and point guard Nick Lewis for next season.