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Author

Joel Osborne

writes

Posted Friday, July 26th 2019

I’m ready to prove myself - Thomas-Edwards

Raphell Thomas-Edwards believes he’s ready to take his game to the next level with the Bristol Flyers.

The 26-year-old small forward has become Andreas Kapoulas’ first new signing ahead of the 2019/20 BBL campaign, after leading NBL Division One in rebounds last season with 14.5 per game whilst also finishing the league’s fourth leading scorer (23.0ppg).

Having grown up through the Leicester Warriors' junior programme, Thomas-Edwards brings a wealth of international experience to Bristol - he represented England U16s and U18s at junior level, as well as competing at the 2013 U20 European Championships for Great Britain. 

Following a four-year collegiate spell in the States, Thomas-Edwards took time out from his basketball career before linking up with his childhood club once again last season.

"I played for a season in Leicester last year, but before that, I hadn’t played in the UK for a few years,” he told bristolflyers.co.uk.

"Stepping away definitely gave me a new mindset - I did a lot a coaching during my time off, which helped me see the game a lot better and become a smarter player on the court.

"Now I’ve got to prove myself and I think Bristol is the perfect place for me to do that.”

Thomas-Edwards is not the first player to join the Flyers from British basketball’s second tier. He follows in the footsteps of Lewis Champion, who made 33 appearances for Bristol last season after stepping up to the top-flight from Team Northumbria.
"When I heard that Lewis (Champion) was on the team I sent him a message - he’s one of those guys that I loved to play with,” Thomas-Edwards added.

"He said that the BBL is a lot different from playing in Division One, everything’s a bit more physical and the league is a lot more competitive.

"I’ve been working hard during the off-season and I’m really looking forward to translating my game to the next level.

"I know the BBL is a higher level and the expectations are a lot higher too, but I’m definitely fired up and ready to go out there and show what I can do.”