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New boy Toluwase ready to rock for Royals

PUBLISHED: 17:15 06 December 2018

The latest news from the local basketball scene (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA)

The latest news from the local basketball scene (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Hackney-born Sam Toluwase not only promises to add some firepower to the London City Royals — he’s also destined to put more than a few on the gate.

For the small forward is one of 14 brothers and sisters, and is predicting the family will need a taxi or two when he makes his debut against Glasgow Rocks on Sunday at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

“There should be quite a few of my family and friends cheering me on,” said Toluwase, fresh from a spell with San Giobbe Chiussi in Italy.

“Family has always come first in my life so coming back home to play in front of them all is very exciting.”

Sadly, some family members have flown in from around the world to help nurse their sick mum, the Revd. Dr. Christiana Toluwase of The Christ Apostolic Church in Stoke Newington.

“Thankfully she is getting better, but mum’s illness is one of the main reasons I left Italy,” explained Nigerian international Sam.

“Now I’m here with the Royals it’s actually like being surrounded by family.

“I’ve been part of the Midnight Madness travel teams and played alongside Jules Dang Akodo, AJ Roberts, Will Neighbour, Ashley Hamilton, Orlan Jackman and Will Ohuaregbe.

“I’ve known director of operations Nhamo Shire and coach Jay Williams for years.

“Even though I’ve played in Canada, China, Iceland, Italy and Spain, and in the BBL for the Sheffield Sharks and the Manchester Giants, we have always been close.

“Playing with this group of guys is always fun for me and I usually look forward to it in the summers with Midnight Madness teams.

“We’ve won together abroad, so coming back home with an opportunity to win at home representing our city is exciting.

“I’m looking forward to helping do whatever the team needs me to do for us to be successful. I can’t wait to get started.

“If nothing else I promise positivity. I’ll look to be a defensive rock – and then pounce.

“The Royals have the quality to make the play-offs.

Williams last coached Toluwase successfully in Paris at the prestigious Quai 54 tournament and was quick to praise the prize acquisition:

He said: “Sam is a great pick up for us and a player we’ve been tracking for a while now. He gives us great depth and is a defensively superior guard who is as strong as an ox and can jump out of the gym.

“He’s also battle-tested and I know he is always ready to step in and do whatever is necessary to help the team win.”

Royals tip-off against the Glasgow Rocks at 4pm on December 9. Tickets are available via: londoncityroyals.com/royals-vs-glasgow-rocks.

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