Hastings set to host world tournament

Action from a previous staging of the World Club Basketball Tournament. Picture courtesy CDMAV Photography
Action from a previous staging of the World Club Basketball Tournament. Picture courtesy CDMAV Photography

The World Club Basketball Tournament will return to Hastings for the fourth consecutive year this weekend.

Hosted by Bexhill Giants Basketball Club, the award-winning event will take place at Summerfields Leisure Centre tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday.

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 eight 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.”

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The tournament, which last year was won by Canada’s ABA Toronto Knights, has grown substantially since it first started, and Douglin has been inundated with enquiries from across the world, including Australia, India, Spain, France, USA, Italy and Canada.

Now regarded as the number one international basketball tournament in the UK, this year’s event will feature some of the best basketball players ever seen in England.

Teams including USAF Lakenheath Eagles (USA), Patriots (Poland), Sussex Lions (England), New York Court Kings (USA), Argyle Kings (England), Las Vegas Unknown (USA), Chicago Legends (USA) and the Wales national team will battle it out for the right to become World Club Basketball Champions 2018.

The tournament will feature some of the top coaches and figures in the sport, with BBL players and high-level NCAA collegiate players, and for the first time will feature a national team as the Wales senior squad will be competing.

There will also be a dunk contest, merchandise, prize giveaways, music, cheerleaders and a film crew to film the event for worldwide syndicated media outlets.

There will be a free youth coaching session on Sunday from 10am hosted by ABA Toronto Knights coaching staff and players.

Proceeds from the tournament will go to Kidney Research UK, which is the dedicated charity of the event after founder Douglin received a kidney from his wife in 2010.

Tickets cost £5 on both days and admission is free to under-16s, with the action starting at 11.30am. For details, visit www.worldclub
basketballtournament.com