Flyers sign Jelani Watson-Gayle – British Basketball League

The Bristol Flyers have signed British playmaker Jelani Watson-Gayle from Fresno Pacific University.

The 23-year-old playmaker has put pen to paper on his first professional deal after signing a one-year contract, with the option of a further year.

Watson-Gayle arrives at Bristol after a successful five-year college career in NCAA Division II – enjoying spells with Benedict and Miles, ahead of his final year at Fresno Pacific.

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 game-high 34 points against Chaminade in December, to go along with seven steals.

Upon signing his first professional contract with the Flyers, Watson-Gayle said, “I’m really looking forward to starting my professional career with the Flyers.

“I’ve been away from home for seven years now, so I can’t wait to play in England again.

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

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

Prior to his college career, Watson-Gaye gained valuable experience on the international stage, having been part of the UK Under-20 team that competed in Division A at the 2018 European Championships.

Flyers head coach Andreas Kapoulas said: “Jelani is a talented and hardworking British player who has enjoyed an excellent college career at D2 level, winning many honours.

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

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

“He will be a great role model for the club’s young players in our program and we are very happy to have him start his professional career at Bristol.”

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