Teams from Europe and USA to contest world tournament

Jason Hannibal, of the NBA's Washington Wizards, with World Club Basketball Tournament founder Eric Douglin.
Jason Hannibal, of the NBA's Washington Wizards, with World Club Basketball Tournament founder Eric Douglin.

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

Teams from continental Europe will take on the always strong United States sides at Summerfields Leisure Centre over the weekend of September 9-10.

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.

Teams including Howard Hoops (Germany), Laconia (Greece), Patriots Basketball (Poland) and New York Court Kings (USA) will line up against returning teams USA Select, USAF Lakenheath Eagles (USA), U-Hoops (USA) and Argyle Kings.

The event will also include some of the top coaches and figures in the sport, including top players from the NBA Summer League, British Basketball League, NCAA and other high calibre European leagues.

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 contract.

The ABA Toronto Knights squad on the seafront.

The ABA Toronto Knights squad on the seafront.

The US sports channel Got Next TV has partnered with tournament founder Eric Douglin and the action will be shown on its media channel to 68 countries and millions of viewers globally.

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.

What’s more, there will be a free youth coaching session, hosted by USA Select coaching staff and players, on Sunday September 10, starting at 10.30am, plus prizes, giveaways, music and competitions 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.

As a warm-up to the tournament, there will be an exhibition match featuring two of the overseas teams at Bexhill Leisure Centre on Friday September 9. Doors will open at 8.15pm.

The World Club Basketball Tournament is a self-funded event and sponsors are welcome, with the opportunity to promote their products on-site or have their banners displayed.

For details, contact Eric Douglin on 07971 821457 or visit www.worldclubbasketballtournament.com