Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Zukic Plays a Key Role in Eagles' Flying Start to Campaign

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Zukic Plays a Key Role in Eagles' Flying Start to Campaign

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff King

TWO things have been well documented about Esh Group Eagles Newcastle since the start of the 2017/18 British Basketball season.

Their unbeaten 5-0 start and the impact of their back-court duo, Saah Nimley and Jaysean Paige.

However, two players don't make a team and it does appear this Eagles roster is one which runs deeper than in previous years and is made up of different types of players - some who may even seem "uneagle" like. Step forward Zarko Jukic.

The 6ft 7in Danish international has started every game so far for Newcastle and is the archetypical role/team player every roster needs.

Not sure of that? Well, 7.4 points, six rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.6 blocks per game should convince you of his athletic worth at both ends of the floor.

With the Eagles having a weekend off, Jukic reflected on the superb start to the season his new team have made.

He said: "It's been a very good start. Five wins, you can't ask for much better than that.

"The last two games we struggled a little bit but we found a way to come back in those two games and get the wins.

"It's good for the confidence going forward and shows that edge and togetherness we have as a team to come back from those deficits.

"Most teams in those sort of circumstances would let their heads go down but we showed how together we are and how determined we are and got those wins."

With the newness and changes to Newcastle's roster this term, many were unsure of what the starting five might be like and how all would fit in to the team chemistry.

Jukic has certainly showed an appetite for the fight and his work from the start allows others to set the platform.

He added: "Last year in Spain I came off the bench so it's a little different starting.

"I did think I might start this year but even if I didn't I'd still play the same way. …

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