It’s been two months since Liberian-born basketball star Saah Nimley made his debut for the most successful basketball club in the British Basketball League (BBL), Newcastle Eagles. Joining the Eagles was a huge task for the 24-year-old Point Guard. Nimley was signed by the 7-time BBL championship winners to replace two-time BBL MVP winner Rahmon Fletcher.
Fletcher was a key figure in the Eagles roster during his spell at the club. He helped the Eagles reach five straight BBL Cup finals and winning three of them. Fletcher dominated the league in scoring during the 2016-17 British Basketball League season, scoring 676 points in 38 BBL games. Leaving the Eagles created a gap that needed to be occupied by a top player.
However, Nimley became that perfect replacement. The 2015 Big South Player of the year was exceptional in the Eagles pre-season tour after inspiring them to an undefeated tour. But that was the pre-season period immediately before the start of a new season, in which athletes undergo intensive training and participate in exhibition games.
After the completion of the pre-season tour, it was no surprise to supporters of Newcastle Eagles having watched their newly signed point guard during the pre-season, but to others, an unexpected BBL star emerged. Nimley helped the Eagles clinch the £20,000 cash prize after finishing as runner-up in the BBL All-Star Championship.
Nimley’s performance and points scored during the pre-season and the All-Star Championship was impressive, but that’s enough. Nimley, who plied his college basketball career for Charleston Southern University basketball team in South Carolina, made his official BBL regular season debut away to Leeds Force.
Despite the new environment, new teammates, and new coach, Nimley showed class after scoring 27 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in the Eagles’ “sensational opener.” Leeds Force suffered a 60-148 defeat.
As was expected, Nimley hit the BBL All-Star Five of Week-1 after his astonishing performance in his first league game. Later on October 6, Nimley played his first match at the Sports Central in Newcastle-the home ground of the Eagles.
It was another splendid performance from the 24-year-old as described by British Sports Journalist Simon Rushworth. “Saah Nimley added yet another magic moment to the highlights reel – the 5ft 8in guard was floored in attempting a three-point shot only to grab his own rebound and sink a spectacular fadeaway triple.”
At the end of Week-2, after the Eagles won Manchester Giants 102-70, Nimley’s performance in Week-2 earned him yet another accolade after he was named in the All-Star Five of Week-2. He scored 17 points and 4 assists. This week, Saah Nimley joined teammate Jaysean Paige as the second only player in the BBL to record a fourth starting appearance in the league’s line-up for Week-9.
Since then, Nimley has so far scored 208 points, 51 assists, 25 rebounds and 19 steals out of 10 appearances, thus making him the second highest points scorer currently on the team. He is 25 points behind teammate Jaysean Paige.
Contrary to his previous points per game (ppg) at Nevezia in Lithuanian LKL and the Baltic League, Nimley’s points per game have shifted.
Before joining the Eagles, Nimley played 15 games at Nevezia in Lithuanian LKL, where he recorded 10.0 PPG, 1.9 RPG, and 2.3 APG. He also played 9 games in the Baltic League, where he averaged 8.4 PPG, 1.2 RPG, and 2.2 APG, but according to his current stats at Newcastle Eagles, Nimley has records 20.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 5.1 APG.