James Legan
James Legan Nev Madsen

QBL's leading scorer boosts Ipswich's 2014 final hopes

IT was hard to fault the commitment shown by head coach Andrew Summerville and the Ipswich Force men's players in this year's Queensland Basketball League.

However, a lack of scoring penetration at crucial times cost the Ipswich side victory in a number of games.

That problem will be significantly eased next season with the signing of the league's most lethal player, James Legan.

Summerville yesterday confirmed the American import's willingness to join Force in February, leading up to next year's QBL season launch in May.

"He did a job on everybody,'' Summerville said when asked about his memories of Legan playing for Toowoomba against Ipswich this year.

"He's a hell of a scorer and for the entire QBL, he was the league's leading scorer.

"It's a big signing.

"We need more than one guy, but that's a pretty important piece to get squared away.''

Legan, 26, lives in Houston, Texas. The 190cm shooting guard/point guard has starred in the QBL the past three seasons.

Summerville approached Legan to join the Force side after working as an assistant coach during this year's QBL All-Star game on the Gold Coast.

The Ipswich mentor was impressed how Legan worked with Ipswich players Jason Ralph and Martin Iti during the match.

"I struck up a relationship with him and we just got talking,'' Summerville said.

"In the off-season, he mentioned he was looking for a change so I got on the front foot and really chased him hard.

"We were looking for a guy with his scoring capability, so it was just a good match.''

Legan averaged 28 points per game in his first QBL season. He backed that up with a 21-point average in 2012 and 24 points a game this year helping the Mountaineers reach the quarter-finals.

"He's a three-point shooter, which is something that we lacked as well,'' Summerville said.

"It's filled a massive hole for us.''

Acting Ipswich Baskeball Association president Pat Ralph agreed.

"He will be a great asset to the team that coach Summerville is putting together,'' Ralph said.

"He (Legan) has had one game playing in the QBL All-Star game with Martin Iti and Jason Ralph in 2013 and the chemistry and mutual respect was evident.''

Pat's son Jason is preparing for the national under-20 championships next month.

The Ipswich coach said other Force players were receiving fitness tests before heading off for a break. Pre-season training starts in late January.

Star recruit

James Legan is suiting up in Ipswich colours next season.

  • Position: Shooting guard/point guard. Height: 190.5cm.
  • Born: April 12, 1987. Based: Houston, United States.
  • Reputation: As a tough, team-minded player with tremendous shooting ability and exceptional range on the court. Considered down to earth, passionate about basketball and enjoys working with young people.

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