GUNNEDAH giant Lawrence York makes his State League debut for the Tamworth Thunderbolts against the Coffs Harbour Suns in the Tamworth Sports Dome tonight.
The teenager helps bolster a roster missing two of the side’s smaller men from last Saturday night’s home win against the Port Macquarie Dolphins.
“Luke Krug and Afaj are both missing,” Tamworth Thunderbolt coach John Irelandsaid.
“Luke’s celebrating his 21st.
“Lawrence is a big kid. He’s six foot 10 (2.08m), only 19 but goes well.
“He’s been training and travelling over with the other Gunnedah guys.
“He’s a big, long powerful guy. He’s improving all the time and will back up Bourky (skipper David Bourke) in the five spot.”
Gunnedah dentist Darren will be a key guard standing in for Krug.
The Thunderbolts rebounded from a first-round loss to beat the Dolphins by 37 on the Dome’s Show Court last Saturday.
Repeating that against the Suns is going to be difficult considering they have a US import in the University of Milwaukee’s Jerard Ajami.
“He’s a bit of an unknown but very athletic who shoots well from the perimeter I believe,” Ireland said.
“They also have a big Tongan guy who is also very athletic.
“It’s going to be a tough match for us.”
The Thunderbolts’ own import, Tevin Hurd, was hampered by early foul trouble last week but still shot 18 points while spring-heeled power forward Justin Leehy had one of his best games for the Bolts, registering game-high points.
Tonight’s action starts with a 5pm tipoff between the Thunderbolt women and defending champion Coffs Harbour Suns. The men’s game tips off at 7pm.