Raiders look to Estonia for latest recruit to the roster

PLYMOUTH Raiders have turned to the Baltics for their latest signing with the capture of six-foot-eight Estonian forward Joonas Jarvelainen from TTU KK in the Estonian KML.

Originally from Paide, Jarvelainen had an impressive season with his former club, averaging 17 points per game – the third highest in the League – and he was also fourth in rebounding with and impressive hall of 7.82 boards per game.

TTU KK also featured in the Baltic League, comprising of teams from Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, Latvia and Kazakhstan, where Jarvelainen was the third leading scorer, averaging 19.3 points per game, including 41 per cent from beyond the three-point line, while he made the ‘Team of the Month’ in November and December.

Despite being only 27, he brings a wealth of experience having turned pro in 2011 and he has consistently averaged double figures in scoring since 2012.

Said Plymouth Raiders head coach Gavin Love: ‘Joonas joins us after having a great season in Estonia and brings us good size at the power forward position.

‘His versatility allows him to play at both the three and four positions and although there is bound to be a period of adjustment having played predominantly in the Estonian League, I feel his experience will be of great value to the team this season.’

The new recruit is excited about more than just his on-court involvement and added: ‘I’m looking forward to what Britain has to offer on the basketball court and, on a broader scale, culturally off it.’ Jarvelainen is Love’s seventh signing following last week’s announcement that fan favourite Dylan Costelloe had returned to the club.

The Raiders have also announced their pre-season schedule ahead of the 2017-18 British Basketball League season with a double header against Cheshire Phoenix.

Love’s men will head north on Saturday, September 23 before returning the Plymouth Pavilions the following day. Tickets for the home game have been reduced to £9 for adults and £5 for children and concessions and are now available to purchase.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.