Tuesday, 15 May 2012
The Sydney Kings have snapped up Gold Coast captain James Harvey for next NBL season while the embattled Blaze remain mired in voluntary administration.
Veteran sharpshooter Harvey, who captained the Blaze since their inaugural 2007-08 season, was one of four signings the Kings announced on Tuesday.
The others were Cairns Taipans big man Ian Crosswhite and Tom Garlepp, also from the Gold Coast, and the re-signing of Aaron Bruce.
Crosswhite is a ready-made replacement for star centre Julian Khazzouh, who along with Anatoly Bose, signalled his intention to chase a contract in Europe.
Sydney coach Shane Heal hailed 33-year-old shooting guard Harvey as a key acquisition, welcoming his leadership qualities as well as his scoring ability.
"The addition of Harvey to the Sydney Kings roster will help with a crucial missing link behind the arc," Heal said.
"Every team needs a leader, and I am confident James will fill the void from last season. He is one of the most passionate leaders I have played with both on the court and in the gym.
"James Harvey is a big game player who has dealt with persistent injuries over the past couple of seasons, so he will come to the Sydney Kings with something to prove."
Heal added the Kings were hopeful of unveiling further signings, this time on the import front, later in the week after deciding not to offer Jerai Grant another contract.
Harvey's signing was unveiled on the same day Basketball Australia (BA) expressed increased optimism that Gold Coast will continue in the NBL.
BA interim CEO Scott Derwin said he could not guarantee the club's future but was encouraged by talks with the Blaze about a new investor.
"I flew to the Gold Coast last week and, on Thursday, met with the ownership of the Gold Coast Blaze as well as the players, team staff and the club's appointed administrator Roland Robson," Derwin said.
"Those meetings have given us reason for renewed levels of optimism around the future of the club.
"The team's ownership and management are extremely confident of finalising negotiations with an additional new investor with whom they had already been in discussions.
"Clearly, we still need to allow the administrator to analyse these plans and the overall position of the club in detail before we can be certain that Gold Coast will continue to play on in the NBL.
"However, based on the information we have so far, those who have been forecasting the demise of the Blaze since Friday are certainly premature and quite possibly wrong."