American player Thomas Rutherford signs for the season at ZZ Leiden

American player Thomas Rutherford signs for the season at ZZ Leiden

Joris Zandbergen

Leadership

ZZ Leiden brought reinforcements under the panels. American center Thomas (Tommy) Rutherford has signed for a season with the BNXT League Champion.

25-year-old Tommy Rutherford, who is 2.03 meters tall, comes to Leiden from Switzerland where he has been active for a season with Starwings Basel. In the Alpine country, he was the best player in the Eredivisie with an average of 11.4 points, as well as 15.3 points and 1.3 shots per game.

His first year in Europe, Rutherford played from San Diego in Luxembourg. Also king there under the tags.

Prior to that, he was a college basketball player with the Cal State Irvine (“Anteaters”) team in his native California for four years.

Rutherford is not very tall in relation to the middle (his predecessor Asbjørn Midtgaard is at least 10 cm tall), but he is athletic, can play with his back to the basket, has a sense of timing and excellent scoring skills near the basket.

The American is already in Leiden, waiting for a work permit so he can play for his new team. “With Tommy, we’re bringing in 5 very highly skilled (center, editor),” says new head coach Doug Spradley. “He’s a really good player and a strong player in the group.”

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