PLYMOUTH Raiders have offered a second chance to British shooting guard Jawad Adekoya.
The Raiders were forced to release 6ft 5in Adekoya in January 2018, along with Neil Watson and Kinu Rochford, after a breach of club rules relating to the use of banned substances.
But Devon outfit were suitably impressed by the way Adekoya handled the situation to justify giving him another chance.
Raiders director Richard Mollard said: “We were all deeply saddened at what happened last year, but our new policies were to ensure all players maintain a high standard in all aspects of their lives while representing the club.
“Upon being told of our decision, Jawad admitted his mistake, showed considerable regret and remorse, and was incredibly professional in the way he handled all remaining matters.
“Leading up to that point, Jawad was the ultimate hard working professional, always the first at training, putting in extra hours in the gym and on the court, and great when working in the community, which is why our decision to release him at the time was so disappointing.”
Adekoya played 12 games for the Raiders, posting an average of 10pts and three rebounds, and was a firm fixture in the starting five. Since leaving the club he has continued to work on his game, and after discussions with coach Paul James feels a return to the Raiders and the chance to make amends was a opportunity not to be missed.
James said: “First and foremost, Jawad is an excellent player – one that made a mistake and held his hands up to that.
“Nobody can condone what he did, he was young and impressionable. I think we’ve all done things in our past that we regret, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them and make amends.
“After lengthy discussions with Jawad, I’m confident that he has learnt the errors of his ways and is totally focused on helping the Raiders in our goal of finishing in a play-off position for the first time in six seasons.”
On his return to the club Jawad added: “I’d like to thank the Raiders organisation for this opportunity and I take full responsibility for mistakes that I made leading to last year’s separation from the team.
“As I humbly return to the Raiders, I’ve had time to self-reflect, and I understand the critical role that personal accountability plays in success as an organisation.
“I am excited to get back on track playing the game that I love and hope to have a positive impact on the team.”
Raiders will be back in BBL home action against the Surrey Scorchers on Sunday, March 3 (3pm).