by David Lems
IPSWICH Force captain James Legan is often the first to play a leading role when his team needs it most.
Preparing for his fourth state league season in Ipswich, the popular American is having an added impact already.
Legan, 30, has been working as Ipswich Basketball's development, promotions and sponsorship officer on top of his important leadership work with the men's representative side.
But far from shirking the extra demand, Legan is keen to help Ipswich Force on and off the court.
He's had some pre-season success securing new sponsors for the association while helping Ipswich warm up for the new season starting on Saturday week.
He hopes to do more development work in schools once the season is up and running.
"I've got to have a pretty much hands-on approach after this month because the sponsorship and stuff is coming towards an end because the season is starting next weekend,'' Legan said.
"It all went good.''
Having been an elite basketballer for many years, Houston product Legan enjoys a variety of challenges.
"I've got to make time for myself,'' he said.
"It just comes with the territory. You've got to make time for your personal development as well as making time for everybody else.
"I'm pretty much used to that so I'm ready to go.''
The Force captain is confident Ipswich will field another strong line-up, having made last year's semi-finals.
Although some players are yet to arrive completing College commitments, Legan is talking positively.
"Everybody is coming in and we're playing more like a family this year,'' he said.
Before switching his attention to Ipswich's state league opener next Saturday night, Legan is keen to see Saturday afternoon's season launch and junior presentation function go well.
That starts at 4pm before the men's players head off to Auchenflower for their final pre-season trial against Brisbane.
"We had a hit-out against them earlier this year and beat them,'' Legan said of major rivals Brisbane.
"So I'm pretty sure they'll be gunning for us come Saturday.''