Basketball: Lyons looking forward to Cook’s ‘threat’

Mike Cook during his last spell with the Sharks
Mike Cook during his last spell with the Sharks

Sheffield Sharks coach Atiba Lyons says he is looking forward to teaming up again with Mike Cook but admitted it was a difficult decision to allow Allen Payne to leave the club.

Sharks swapped Cook, who won the BBL Player of the Year away when he last with the club in 2010, for Payne to provide more of a scoring threat after an inconsistent first half of the season.

Lyons said: “I am in the unusual position of releasing a really good player and a great guy, unfortunately a change was required for the overall benefit of the team and Allen’s role was the most vulnerable. I wish him all the very best in getting a good situation and he leaves us with our support and best wishes. With Mike we know he is a serious offensive threat most nights of the week and his formidable reputation was sustained at all his teams since the Sharks.”

Sharks take on Cheshire Phoenix tonight at the EIS (7.30pm) in the league.

Meanwhile Devon Van Oostrum, a former Silverdale school student, has joined Sharks Yorkshire rivals Leeds Force on loan. The 6’3” guard, considered by many, to be the best British basketball player of his generation has been playing in Croatia and Finland this season. Great Britain international Van Oostrum, 21, is under contract with Laboral Kutxa Baskonia in Spain.