TADEA Middlesbrough Lions Announce First New Signing
By Tom Jameson
Monday 23 May 2011 16:42:00
Browse all Basketball articles


TADEA Middlesbrough Lions have made their first new signing for next season in the form of powerful Polish youngster; Matt Rudzik. A raw young talent who TADEA Lions chief James Thomson believes can be a significant feature throughout the year. Mr Thomson also promised while this signing is the first it wont be the last with a big name being lined up.


Matt sealed the deal last Friday and stated “I am looking forward to playing for Lions. I think I will develop from the coaching here and I hope I can do very well for the team. I have already had a good response from the fans and I hope I will give them something to cheer about.”


Matt only began playing basketball three years ago when he first came to the UK from Poland after his school teacher told him he was too small for basketball. That though did not stop a skinny 16 year old from shooting around on the outdoor courts in Middlesbrough and he was spotted, ironically by James Thomson who encouraged him to attend training sessions at Middlesbrough College.


Matt was very raw but possessed incredible athletic ability and in one college game collected 24pts and a massive 20 rebounds. Under the tutorage of Coach Thomson his game developed quickly. Matt was then promoted to the local league Lions and following a bad ankle injury had to stop playing for a year.


During this time Matt decided to enhance his physical condition and through a vigorous training programme gained 3 ½ stone in muscle. The result was a return to basketball for Teesside Hornets as a bigger, stronger and more dominant player. Matt averaged a minimum of 20pts and 10 rebounds throughout the campaign with a season high of 34pts and 16 rebounds in the Durham League.


Coach Thomson insists that there will be no pressure on Matt and likens his development plan to that of last seasons youngsters; John Ford & Anthony Humes.” Matt will provide us with cover for the starting five. I have told him to expect very little but prepare for much more. Matt possess  incredible athleticism but the jump from local league to national league is a big one so we must nurture him very carefully.”

John Ford was in a similar role last season and we developed him into a superb player who was integral toward the end of the year. I don’t want to add that pressure on Matt as they are different players, but I think Matt will become a fans favourite.”


The early signs of Matt would echo what Coach Thomson is saying. At the clubs latest training session Matt would draw gasps of awe with either a big rebound or block, but then struggle with other aspects. When asked if his limitations would be a problem Coach Thomson indicated his development is a long term project and was quick to respond “Absolutely not. I don’t see Matt as limited in his overall game, I see him as a specialist in athleticism and rebounding. He will come off the bench and provide the whole team with a boost when he performs a big play. Some of the most important players in basketball history have been role players. Dennis Rodman springs to mind and now TADEA Lions have what I hope will be a very important player.”


Photo Above - New Signing Matt Rudzik with James Thomson

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