Eagles part with title-winner Tom

TOM Sherlock was last night considering his future in top-flight basketball after the former Wayne State favourite’s Newcastle Eagles career came to an end.

TOM Sherlock was last night considering his future in top-flight basketball after the former Wayne State favourite’s Newcastle Eagles career came to an end.

The 26-year-old showed immense promise during his rookie year in the BBL, but has left the Championship leaders just one month into his second season on Tyneside.

Although the exact reasons for Sherlock’s departure haven’t been specified, club officials have been keen to stress that the decision was a mutual one.

Paul Blake last night underlined his desire to see the forward fare well in his future endeavours. It remains to be seen what that future holds.

“We all hoped that Tom would continue his progress this season. But things haven’t worked out and he’s hoping to pursue other interests,” said the club’s managing director.

“I would like to thank Tom for his efforts and wish him luck in whatever he chooses to do.”

Sherlock spent just 15 months on Fabulous Flournoy’s roster, yet he has departed with BBL silverware. The Midlander won a professional contract having shone at the club’s open trials in 2006 and helped the Eagles to retain their Play-Off crown in April. “Tom’s a talented player, a great lad who has given this club a lot in a short time,” said Blake.

“He won a BBL title in his first professional season – not many players can say that.

“He has had a huge impact since he arrived at the trials and I’m sure he’s proud of what he has achieved – he should be.

“We were fortunate to get him for last season from those trials because there were no guarantees. We were even more fortunate that he contributed so many minutes.”

Sherlock’s shirt will no longer be seen at the Metro Radio Arena and neither will TJ Walker’s after Eagles officials decided to honour the long-serving American by retiring his No 5 vest.

The popular point-guard spent seven years in the North-East before leaving the club this summer to start his coaching career at Chester Jets and he received a rapturous welcome on his first return to the region last week, Walker has been paid a further tribute. Blake said: “TJ was with us for seven great years and he became an icon for the club and our fans.

“Everywhere you went, people associated TJ with the club. TJ has been a true professional and helped us win six trophies.

“He was also present before the silverware arrived and he was among a core of players who put in the hard work to help the club get here. His talent, dedication and application are second to none and he’s an example of what other players – in particular, young players – should aspire to. I’m sure if we had a Hall of Fame then he would be a worthy addition.

“We’re delighted to retire the famous Eagles No 5 vest in his honour and, while I’m sure none of our fans will forget his efforts, this is certainly one way of ensuring his contribution to the league is highlighted.

“TJ has been, and continues to be, someone that the BBL can be proud of and we’re lucky to still have him. He will always be guaranteed a warm welcome back.”

We hoped Tom would continue his progress. But things haven’t worked out.

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