BRADFORD Dragons Basketball club have announced that Jermayne Laing and Rafi Saipe have both committed to another campaign with them.

This will be Laing’s sixth season with his home-town club, having joined the Dragons from the now defunct Leeds Force at the start of the 2013/14 season, and he has since established himself as a regular starter for Chris Mellor’s team. Last season he played in all 24 of the Dragons’ league fixtures, averaging 27.5 minutes per game.

Defensively he has proved himself to be an outstanding perimeter player, whilst his speed and agility also provides the team with additional options at the offensive end of the court.

The 28-year-old shooting guard experienced basketball in the United States, where he attended prep school and then went on to attend the highly acclaimed 22ft Basketball Academy in the south of France.

Laing said: “I am really looking forward to playing for Bradford Dragons again this season and taking the team forward with our new players, who are bringing a lot of talent to the team.

“I’m looking forward to training and playing hard and hopefully seeing that hard work pay-off and lead us to a successful season for the Dragons.

“I’m also looking forward to adding another year with (head coach) Chris Mellor, who has helped me to develop my game in many aspects over the years.”

Meanwhile, Saipe, who also made the transition from Leeds Force, will be starting his fifth season in the Dragons’ colours. The 6ft 2in guard spent most of his first season at the club warming the bench.

However, he has since gone on to earn himself a regular starting role on the Dragons’ roster. Although he is best known for his tenacious defending, he has also established himself as an extremely capable shooter, averaging 11.5 points per game last season.

“It’s great to be back at Bradford Dragons,” commented Saipe. “I’m really looking forward to the season ahead.

“Last year was disappointing, on a personal note, as I got injured into the later stages of the season and I felt that as a team we could have achieved more.

“I couldn’t ask for a better group of coaches again and, even though we have lost some great players and friends, I like the new players that we are bringing in and I think that they can really help us to hopefully bring some silverware to the club.”

Head coach Mellor added: “It’s great to have Jermayne and Rafi on board for another season. They are both very important players in what we are trying to do because they contribute so much at both ends of the court.

“The tone that they set defensively will hopefully transfer to some of our new guys and they both look very motivated, judging by early pre-season signs.”

The Dragons’ season starts with a double header weekend in the National Trophy, away at Team Newcastle University Knights, on Saturday, September 29 and then a home fixture against Manchester Magic the following afternoon.

The league campaign commences on Saturday, October 6 with a home tie against newly-promoted Nottingham Hoods. All home fixtures will once again be played at the Bradford College Sports Hall on Trinity Road.