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I’d relish return to help Star retain title: Blaylock

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Vital role: Delaney Blaylock was an inspiration for Star

Vital role: Delaney Blaylock was an inspiration for Star

Freddie Parkinson

Vital role: Delaney Blaylock was an inspiration for Star

American Delaney Blaylock says he would love to return and help Belfast Star defend the All-Ireland Superleague title next season.

Star are celebrating their first All-Ireland title in 21 years and Blaylock was a key factor in the historic victory. The American, in his first year as a professional, returned home yesterday after a year in Belfast during which he entertained the Star fans with his athleticism and skill.

Whether or not Star are able to re-sign him for next season remains to be seen but coach Adrian Fulton has said that given the opportunity he would bring back Blaylock "in a heartbeat".

Blaylock said: "To win a Championship in my first season and in the way we did, you just couldn't have made it up. It was great for the club and for basketball in Northern Ireland.

"I had a great time in Belfast. I loved the people and the buzz every time we played. You saw the same faces every game and they really pushed us on when we needed it.

"As for my own future, that is up in the air at the moment. I'm still enjoying the fact that we won the Championship and that I could be part of bringing the trophy back here after such a long time.

"I have to see what happens next for me but I would love to come back, I would certainly be open to that."

Despite being underdogs in their bid to chase down defending Superleague champions Tralee Warriors, Blaylock insists he always knew the side had the class to go all the way.

He added: "I feel the main thing that made us champions was the chemistry within the team.

"It wasn't forced, the way we connected was organic.

"Any team will have ups and downs throughout a season but in our team we had this drive to make sure everybody was playing to their full potential. If there were some words exchanged it was to bring people up and not put them down.

"It was all about the respect we had for each other and it paid off."

Belfast Telegraph