DURHAM Wildcats have signed 6’ 10 American centre John Puk ahead of the upcoming BBL season.

Puk, who is renowned for his strong defensive game, becomes coach Lee Davie’s second signing of the summer after Ralph Bucci confirmed he would be returning to the club for a fourth season as player/coach.

The 23-year-old made an impressive 113 blocks and pulled down 506 rebounds in an outstanding college career that saw him named in the America East All-Defensive Team in his final season.

With just over a month to go until Wildcats get the new season underway against Sheffield Sharks on September 26, the Iowa-born centre admits he is raring to get going with his new club.

“I am very excited to play in the BBL as I have heard only good things about the league,” Puk said. “It’s refreshing to start playing in a different competition and I can’t wait to get started with my new club.”

When asked what fans should expect to see from their latest signing, Puk said: “Great effort and determination on both ends of the floor. Contesting all shots and not allowing easy buckets around the rim.

“I can space the floor out at the centre position knocking down midrange jump shots, and I have a variety of moves around the block that will hopefully impress the supporters.”

Coach Davie believes the American will bring a lot to his roster this season.

He said: “I’m delighted John has agreed to join us in Durham, he has just completed a very impressive college career and I’m confident he will make a big impact on the BBL.

“Standing at 6’10, John’s defensive abilities will be a great addition to our team and his 500+ points in a tough NCAA Division 1 conference indicates he will be contributing heavily at both end of the floor.”

Wildcats reached the BBL play-offs after finishing eighth in the table last season.