THE Thunderbolts have a new American weapon in their arsenal as it prepares to take another run at the State League.
Tevin Hurd has joined the Tamworth side after flying in from Fairfield, California a fortnight ago, where he played for Dickinson State University.
It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the 193cm player who was snapped up by the Thunderbolts’ coach John Ireland an hour after putting out the feelers.
“I have a friend playing in Lismore who said he was having a great time in Australia,” Hurd said.
“I emailed John and sent him some footage and within an hour he had got back to me and it was done.”
That was on February 14. Two weeks later he bought his ticket and a week after that he was in sunny down-town Tamworth.
After having his first training run and meeting the other Bolts last week Hurd is keen to get into the season.
“They seem like a very knowledgeable bunch of guys,” Hurd said.
“They are a tall team and I think I will fit into the side well.”
Normally a shooting or point guard and power forward the new recruit is happy to be anywhere on the court, that is anywhere except centre.
“I like to move around a lot on the court and just hate playing centre.”
The 23 year old wanted to play abroad before he got too old and missed the chance.
“You only get a small window to do these things and play top level sport.”
“This is something I can tell my kids about when I am older.”
The recruit is also going to help with coaching the junior kids while he is here, and is more than happy to help. “It is great to have someone like Tevin here for the kids,” Ireland said.
“He shows them the different places and different pathways that the game can take you.”
The Bolts have a new look team this year after the first import for a long time Marshawn Hampton returned to the US to join the Summer League in Chicago.
Ben Monckton and Josh Deland have retired leaving some gaps in the side, but Ireland is excited about this season and the future.
Rhys Chillingworth and Cody Miller will step up to the side full time after playing 18s, while Monckton’s brother Matt will fill his vacancy.
After getting knocked out in the first round of the crossed pools stage by Hawkesbury last season, Ireland is aiming to get in the top four this season.
In what could be a very interesting first round the Bolts will take on Lismore at home.
Hurds former team mate and the man who convinced him to come to Australia, Jason Washington is their star import.
“It will be great to see him but we are very competitive,” Hurd said.
The Thunderbolts will open its State League account against Lismore on April 29 at the Sportsdome.