|01 March 2013|
|Julius Hodge will return to Paris Levallois for the remainder of the season|
EuroChallenge sides Paris Levallois and Joensuun Kataja have turned to players they know and trust in order to bolster their respective squads ahead of the business end of the season.
The Parisians announced they have decided to bring back small forward Julius Hodge and sign with him a new deal that lasts until the end of the season.
The 29-year-old was on their roster for a six-week period during November and December, after stepping in for Jonathan Aka while the center was sidelined with an injury.
"[Hodge's] friendship with Jawad Williams, his positive mood and his competitive spirit enabled him to quickly become a favourite in the locker room," the club said in a statement.
Hodge played in three EuroChallenge Regular Season games with Paris, averaging 4.3 points, four assists and 2.3 rebounds per-contest.
He posted almost identical numbers in his six games in the French Pro A as he contributed 4.2 points, 4.3 assists and 2.2 rebounds on average.
The winger has been back in France since Thursday and could probably feature in the crucial road game at Le Mans in Pro A action on Saturday.
According to a report in the print edition of Le Parisien though, his friend Williams will definitely sit out the Saturday encounter, raising to four the number of games he has missed since sustaining an injury in the Leaders Cup semi-finals on 16 February.
In the same report, the Parisian daily estimates the power forward could be sidelined for up to a further two weeks, casting doubt on whether he will be fit again in time to help Paris in the first game of their EuroChallenge quarter-final series with Pinar Karsiyaka, on 12 March.
Williams is the team's second-leading scorer and rebounder in the competition, averaging 16.3 points and 5.7 boards per contest.
Kataja meanwhile have adapted swiftly to the new reality that their surprise qualification to the EuroChallenge play-offs has created.
The Finnish club have decided to retain the services of Daniel Coleman, whose contract was expiring with the end of the Last 16 stage of the European competition.
The 28-year-old power forward was instrumental to Kataja's historical European run, after joining the side during the winter break.
Coleman played in all six Last 16 games and averaged 11.7 points on 59.6% shooting from the floor, while he also provided some much-needed inside presence to his team as he quickly became their leading rebounder, with 5.7 boards per-game.