Flyers sign Jelani Watson-Gayle – British Basketball League

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Bristol Flyers have completed the signing of British point guard Jelani Watson-Gayle from Fresno Pacific University.

The 23-year-old playmaker has signed his first professional contract after signing a one-year contract with an option for a further year.

Watson-Gayle comes to Bristol after a successful five-year collegiate career in NCAA Division II – before his senior year at Fresno Pacific he enjoyed magic with Benedict and Miles.

Last season, Watson-Gayle led the Sunbirds to the PacWast Conference Tournament for the first time in program history while also being named PacWest Newcomer of the Year and First-Team All-Conference.

He averaged 19.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, including a season-high 34 points against Chaminade in December, along with seven steals.

Upon signing his first professional contract with the Flyers, Watson-Gayle said, “I’m really excited to start my pro career with the Flyers.

“I’ve been away from home for seven years now, so I’m looking forward to playing in England again.

“I’ve never played for Coach Kapoulas before – we had a great chat on the phone and he expects me to earn my minutes this year.

“He said he wanted to invest time in my growth as a player and that was really important to me.”

Prior to his collegiate career, Watson-Gaye gained valuable experience on the international stage when he was part of the UK Under-20 squad competing in Division A at the 2018 European Championships.

Flyers head coach Andreas Kapoulas said: “Jelani is a hardworking, talented British player who has had a great collegiate career at D2 level and has won multiple awards.

“He had several standout performances in a strong conference last season and led his team to their first conference tournament in program history.

“I really enjoyed speaking to him during the recruitment process and I could say that with his toughness and skills he will fit into our system very well.

“He will be a great role model for the young club players in our program and we are delighted that he is starting his professional career in Bristol.”

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