March 12 2014 Latest news:
Exclusive by James Cunliffe
Monday, December 30, 2013
New London Lions signing Chez Marks is thrilled to have returned to the city where it all began for him in the UK and says he wants to help the Stratford side to the British Basketball League title.
The 33-year-old shooting guard was released by Glasgow Rocks in November but got an early Christmas present when Lions head coach Vince Macaulay called him last week to offer him the chance to return to England, having cancelled the contract of Ben Smith.
Marks, who played for the now defunct London Towers when he first moved from the US in 2005, said: “I’ve always wanted to come back to London.”
“It was my first year out [of America] and I played with the Towers for Robbie Peers.
“It’s a great city, great atmosphere and the fans are great – who wouldn’t want to play here?”
Marks made his Lions debut with 19 points in last week’s 81-70 defeat at Sheffield Sharks, their third straight reverse on the road against BBL title rivals.
Yet he enjoyed a happier home debut at the Copper Box on Sunday, firing 17 points in a stunning 96-82 win against fourth-placed Newcastle Eagles to end 2013 in style.
It has been a whirlwind introduction for the seasoned baller after he flew back from his home in Kentucky, USA, and landed in the capital on Christmas Day.
“I was in the air on Christmas Eve so I didn’t really get to spend time with my family, but sometimes you’ve got to do what’s necessary for the job,” Marks said.
“I’m here and thankful to Vince for calling me so I’m ready to start 2014 off right and try to bring home a championship.”
Macaulay said: “Chez has integrated very well. I laugh because some of our fans said, ‘all he does is shoot’, but all we need is someone to shoot.
“He’s such a high percentage shooter, such a smart veteran player and, if there was such a thing in basketball as a [football] fox in the box, he’s it.
“I’m delighted that I’ve been able to bring him back to the BBL and he’s just exactly what we need.
“He feels like he’s come home.”