Fab Flournoy, MBE, has revealed plans of play a full part in the 2018-19 season as Esh Group Eagles Newcastle look to add more silverware.
The most decorated coach in British basketball history turned 45 last month and broke his foot towards the end of a frustrating campaign last season.
“I’m part of the team as a player and a coach,” he said ahead of Newcastle’s friendlies against top-flight sides Spirou Charleroi and Okapi Aalstar.
“The big questions over the summer were whether I was going to return and, if I was coming back, would I play on.
“There were all sorts of things going in the background and some of those things weren’t in the public domain. I couldn’t comment and neither could the club.
“But it’s always the case, every summer, that every position gets reviewed and that includes my own. Nothing has changed in that respect.”
Flournoy has guided the Eagles to an unprecedented 24 domestic titles during his 16 years as player-coach.
“Newcastle Eagles are in a unique position where there’s a player-coach and at some point in time that’s going to change,” he added.
“Whether that change will come due to my own physicality or the club moving in a different direction, who knows? But one thing is certain – eventually it will happen.”
Flournoy’s confirmation that he will suit up for a 18th season in Newcastle colours follows a flurry of activity during August with nine confirmed signings so far alongside the player-coach.
“As I do every year I assess myself as a coach and I assess myself as a player,” he added.
“The club’s coaching staff also assess me as a player and they will tell me what I need to know.
“But I’ve always been able to take the emotion out of the situation and take a step back. Men can lie, women can lie but numbers don’t. As a coaching staff we focus on the numbers.”
“I needed to put together a team that’s able to deal with the disruption of a mid-season move to the Eagles Community Arena and assemble a group of players who can handle the excitement around that move.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to Dave Forrester, Ian Macleod and Paul Blake for putting in so much work over the summer to pull together the roster we have. There’s been a huge amount of effort gone on behind the scenes to pit us in the position we are in right now.
“Thanks to that effort I’m very positive about the new season.”
Newcastle face two European sides in friendlies this week ahead of their season opener against Cheshire Phoenix on September 21.