Bexhill club to host world event in Hastings

Action from last year's World Club Basketball Tournament.
Action from last year's World Club Basketball Tournament.

The award-winning World Club Basketball Tournament, hosted by Bexhill Giants Basketball Club, will return to Hastings for the third consecutive year this weekend.

Teams from the UK and continental Europe will take on the always strong United States sides at Summerfields Leisure Centre on Saturday and Sunday.

The World Club Basketball Tournament is now regarded as the number one international basketball event in the UK and this year’s staging will feature some of the best basketball players ever seen in England.

The competing teams are Howard Hoops and Team Beastmode (both Germany), Patriots (Poland), ABA Toronto Knights (Canada), USA Select Basketball, USAF Lakenheath Eagles and New York Court Kings (USA), plus Ball in The UK, Argyle Kings and Coventry Tornadoes.

The event will also include some of the top coaches and figures in the sport, with former Worthing Bears coach Sean Loucks returning to Sussex as head coach of ABA Toronto Knights.

The Knights will also include Jasonn Hannibal, who recently represented world basketball giants Washington Wizards in the NBA Summer League.

The tournament has also caught the imagination of TV networks and media across the world. It will be filmed for a documentary focusing on the rise of the tournament and why US players are travelling across the world looking for professional contracts, as well as featuring in TV series ‘How Difficult Can it Be to Play (Basketball)’.

Bexhill Giants founder Eric Douglin said: “I am overwhelmed with the interest this year’s tournament has generated, considering basketball is viewed as a minority sport in the UK.

“Even though we have 10 teams competing, we could have doubled that figure and we have already received entries for next year’s competition, which is an encouraging sign we are doing something right.

“The fact the towns of Bexhill and Hastings will be promoted significantly in the filming is an added bonus.”

The tournament will consist of two groups of five teams competing in a high level competition, and there will also be a dunk contest, merchandise and cheerleaders. Camera crews will film the event for worldwide syndicated media outlets.

What’s more, there will be a free youth coaching session, hosted by USA Select coaching staff and players, on Sunday from 10.30am, plus prizes, giveaways and music over the weekend.

Tickets for the tournament are priced at £5 on both days and free to under-16s, with the action starting at 11.30am. All proceeds will go to Kidney Research UK. For details, contact Eric Douglin on 07971 821457 or visit www.worldclubbasketballtournament.com

As a warm-up to the tournament, there will be an exhibition match between Argyle Kings and ABA Toronto Knights at Bexhill Leisure Centre tomorrow (Friday) night, which will include a youth coaching clinic hosted by the Knights. That will start at 6pm and the exhibition match around 7.30pm. Entry is free.