6’8” power forward, Fetske, who hails from New Jersey, will be starting his fourth season for the Dragons, having first arrived for the 2012/13 season. Having then spent some time with both Team Northumbria and Leeds Force, he returned to the Dragons’ Den in November 2015, where he has been a pivotal figure on the Dragons’ roster ever since.
Fetske averaged 17.9 points and 7.9 rebounds last season and picked up both the Players’ player of the Year and the Coach’s Player of the Year awards.
“Last year was a great season, where we had arguably the most potent offence in the league and made the playoffs as the 7th seed. With new additions to the team and a few improvements defensively, our sights will be set on a top-four finish.”
In tandem with his on-court role, Fetske will also be continuing in his position as the clubs School and Community Coaching Co-ordinator, a role that he took on at the start of the last campaign.
“The club is doing some great work in the community and I am both proud and excited to be contributing to this. This year we will be running more half-term camps, Central Venue League (CVL) competitions, after school basketball clubs and school fundraising events. If you are interested in any of these, please contact us to get involved.”
Meanwhile, 5’11” Brooklyn point guard, Gooding, who is due to arrive back in the UK sometime next week, enters his second year for Bradford, having impressed during his rookie season last year, averaging 22.2 points per game, the highest average from any of the Dragons last season.
Gooding has quickly built himself a reputation as a three-point specialist and finished at the top of the National Basketball League charts for this discipline, with a total of 95 successful three-point attempts over the season – an incredible tally, which was more than 50% greater than his nearest competitor (62). One of the highlights of his season was an unbelievable 45-point performance in Bradford’s win at Hemel Storm last December. However, not resting on his laurels, Gooding will be looking to hit 50 points in a game this time round.
“Last season was a fantastic learning experience for me,” says Gooding. “I’m happy to be back with a great group of guys and a great coaching staff. A championship is the only thing on my mind this season.”
The Dragons will be in pre-season action when they face local rivals, Leeds Force, at the Carnegie Sports Arena, on Sunday 10th September. This will be the first time that the two team have met since Leeds transitioned into the British Basketball League in 2014. Previous fixtures between them have always been exciting, passionate events and despite this being a ‘friendly’ it is a game that is sure to get hearts pumping.
Tip off at the Carnegie Arena is at 4pm and Bradford fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance via the Dragons website and to take advantage of an exclusive online discount.
Photographs © Templewood Photography