Life in the BBL might be proving difficult to adapt to for Leeds Force but an emerging seam of local talent gives them hope for the future.
Four teenagers have made big strides over recent weeks for the British Basketball League rookies.
Teenagers Oliver England of Leeds and James Banton of Bradford stepped off the bench for the final minutes of a heavy loss to runaway leaders Newcastle Eagles last Friday.
The two play regularly for the Force’s Division Three men’s senior team and also for the club’s academy programme, in the elite academies league.
And two further Leeds Force youngsters will represent England against some of the best youth teams from across the European club scene at the Haris Memorial Tournament in Manchester at the weekend.
Leeds lad Danny Evans – who played for the senior team last year and regularly plays for the club’s academy team – represents England’s Under-18s. And Micah Savery-Richards is in the Under-16s squad.
“It’s great to be able to see these local lads prospering,” said the Force’s director of professional basketball Matt Newby.
“We are very happy with what we saw from Oliver and James when they came into a difficult situation last week. It was a little reward for those guys for the hard work they’ve been putting in.
“We hope to have the chance to see them in the BBL again and that all four can continue to develop through our system.”
Leeds Force’s BBL team face anouther daunting challenge on Sunday when they visit high-flying Worcester Wolves.
Sheffield Sharks face a road-trip double-header; at struggling Surrey United on Saturday and London Lions the following night.