Flyers sign Jelani Watson-Gayle – British Basketball League
Bristol Flyers have completed the signing of British point guard Jelani Watson-Gayle from Fresno Pacific University.
The 23-year-old playmaker has put pen to paper on his first professional contract after signing a one-year deal, with the option of a further year.
Watson-Gayle arrives in Bristol following a successful five-year college career in NCAA Division II – enjoying spells with Benedict and Miles, before his senior year at Fresno Pacific.
Last season Watson-Gayle led the Sunbirds to the PacWast Conference Tournament for the first time in programme history, whilst 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 season-high 34 point performance against Chaminade in December, to go along with seven steals.
On signing his first professional contract with the Flyers, Watson-Gayle said: “I’m really looking forward to starting my pro career with the Flyers.
“I’ve been away from home for seven years now, so I’m looking forward to be playing back in England again.
“I’ve never actually played for Coach Kapoulas before – we had a great conversation over the phone and he expects me to earn my minutes this year.
“He said he wants to put time into 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 Great Britain Under-20 squad that competed in Division A at the 2018 European Championships.
Flyers Head Coach Andreas Kapoulas said: “Jelani is a hard-working, talented British player who had a great college career at the D2 level, earning multiple accolades.
“He had several standout performances last season in a strong conference and led his team to their first conference tournament in programme history.
“I thoroughly enjoyed talking to him during the recruitment process and could tell that he will fit very well in our system with his toughness and skill set.
“He will be a great role model for the young club players in our programme and we are very excited for him to start his pro career in Bristol.”