The depature of Finch gives Scantlebury his chance
The Sheffield Sharks have announced Peter Scantlebury as their new head coach.
He steps up from his role as assistant to Chris Finch, who left the club earlier this week to coach in Germany.
Scantlebury, who began his career in 1981 for Guildford, became one of the BBL's most highly respected English players.
He won 131 caps for England and was then recruited as assistant coach under national team boss Laszlo Nemeth.
The 39-year-old Londoner joined Sheffield halfway through the 1998 season, when American Matt Gaudio was forced to retire through injury.
Sharks general manager Sarah Backovic said: "The philosophy of the club has always been to promote our own talent and recruit from within.
"It was always a possibility that Chris would eventually move on and we wanted to replace him with someone who shared the same values and work ethics."
Scantlebury said: "I really can't wait to get started.
"I didn't realise I would be retiring as a player this year, but the chance has come along and I am looking forward to the challenge."
He added: "As I am already familiar with the workings of the club, it makes the settling in period a little easier."
"I am keen to get my team in place and I am looking forward to the season ahead."