WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club hope to have new signing, point guard Vinnie Darpino available for their EBL Trophy match away at Westminster Warriors on Saturday.
Thunder announced the acquisition of the 23-year-old, 5’10 guard this week, and he comes to the club from Kean University in America, where off the court he graduated with a bachelor degree in marketing and on the court he averaged 13.7 points and 2.2 assists in his final year.
Opting to stay in the States professionally, Darpino played for the now defunct Buffalo Stampede in the Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League where he averaged 14 points in 11 games, before a mini spell with German club Schalke.
The New Jersey born, but Italian passport holder, said: “Becoming a member of the Worthing Thunder is a great opportunity.
“We have a chance to be really successful this year and I am very excited to be a part of it.”
Thunder head coach Gary Smith is hoping Darpino will give his side a lift heading into both their EBL Trophy at Westminster and EBL Cup match against Plymouth on Sunday, after he felt his side let themselves down in a 79-75 trophy defeat at home to Brixton Topcats on Saturday
He said: “Vinnie has graduated from the American college system and is a pretty decent player from what I can see. He can score and is pretty tenacious in defence.
“We have to remember we have a new team and new players, who need time to understand their roles, particularly the overseas guys who need to get used to the basketball in England.
“We need to step up as we let ourselves down on Saturday.
“We have to dig in and go into these two games knowing we have to win them, and to not just win them, but do so by playing well.”