Mersey captain and local lad David Aliu became the Tigers all-time record points scorer in the BBL last week, and he’s showing no signs of stopping just yet.
Last year’s treble-winners have struggled so far this season after a summer of upheaval, but Aliu managed to grab himself a personal accolade against Cheshire Jets recently, surging past the previous points record of 991, set by James Jones, who left Merseyside for Plymouth in the summer.
Starting off playing for Toxteth Tigers in the city, Aliu landed a scholarship in the USA, graduating from Morehead State University, playing in Italy, Iceland, Spain and Switzerland, amongst a spell in Scotland with the Rocks and two spells in his home city with the Tigers.
He said: “Anything is possible. It’s another great personal achievement to break the 1000 point mark and to do it in my home city makes it that much better.
“Looking back, moments that stand out to me during my Tigers career is most definitely our first ever game in the ECHO Arena, in front of 7000 people. It was a proud moment for me to be back home and a moving one too.
“Another great moment was of course last season with the treble winning team we had. Never have I been part of a team with so much heart and determination to win games as a team.”
Aliu, 30, top scored for the Tigers once again as they were beaten by Newcastle on Friday, but it was their previous game against the Eagles that stands out most in his mind.
“The best game I have ever played in for the Tigers was against the Eagles in Newcastle to win the league last season. That, in my eyes, is the toughest away game for any team in the BBL, and to go there, win and win the league was special.
“I would say that last year’s team from top to bottom was the best team I have ever been a part of.”
Aliu’s BBL career started with the Scottish Rocks in 2004/05, where he averaged eight points a game in 11 appearances, making his debut against Newcastle back on October 1, 2004. A few seasons later, he returned to these shores with Leicester Riders, making 13 appearances in 2006/07.
The following year, the Everton Tigers joined the BBL, and Aliu was one of the stand out performers, racking up 520 points as they earned a credible 7th place finish.
Very much a family man, Aliu took time off following the birth of his daughter, and returned home early from a spell with Lausanne in Switzerland, before the Tigers came calling again at the beginning of last season.
He said: “To be honest, I wasn’t sure where I was going to play when I came back from Switzerland. I just knew that I was staying in England to play because the most important thing to me was being around my beautiful daughter.”
It was perhaps fitting that when basketball introduced itself to the ECHO Arena in Liverpool, it was local lad Aliu who landed the first basket.
Aliu is back in action on Friday, as the Tigers hunt for their third league win of the season against Guildford Heat at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park (7:30pm).