Myerscough College’s Basketball Academy will continue to play in Europe for at least the next two years.
Myerscough – who are the reigning European Youth Basketball League (EYBL) regular season champions – has signed up to the next two seasons of the tournament, when it eventually gets back underway after the coronavirus pandemic.
Head Coach, Neal Hopkins, said: ‘’It’s really positive to say that we’ve recommitted to the EYBL.
“It’s something that we’ve really embraced over the last two seasons and now we’re in a fortunate position to have committed to another two. This has given us something that we can look forward to and hopefully it’s some good news that will spur on some of the boys to continue some of the good work that we’ve been doing as a programme.”
The EYBL currently operates under two-year agreements with its member clubs, with a review conducted following the end of the second season. Myerscough College has now committed through the 2021-22 season.
Myerscough has amassed a 26-5 regular season record and a 27-7 mark overall during its first two years in the EYBL, which included back-to-back trips to the SuperFinal. The 2020 SuperFinal, however, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
By virtue of its 14-1 record during the 2019-20 season, Myerscough became the first British basketball team at any level to win a season-long European competition, in a run that included a 12-game winning streak.
Neal adds: ‘’The EYBL has given us the greatest moment in our Academy’s history.
‘’It’s exciting to be afforded the opportunity to go back out into Europe and compete. We love the atmosphere, we love the competition structure and format, and we obviously lovely challenging ourselves against teams from different countries and grabbing those experiences that are so invaluable for the boys moving forward.
“The league is taking the right steps and they’re being extremely diligent in terms of their preparation for the new season. We obviously have to have some patience with regards to what is actually going to happen next.
‘’But no matter where it comes – it could be in 12 months, six months or three – it’s just something we’re committed to and we can’t wait to get back out there.”
The competition, which is comprised of a 15-game regular season staged over three phases before culminating in a four-team final, features some of the top under-20 players from EuroLeague, Champions League a Europe Cup established clubs. The 2019-20 campaign saw the addition of Kristaps Porzingas’ Riga-based Academy BS DSN added to the fold.
Myerscough student-athletes have combined for four EYBL All-Star Five selections. During the 2019-20 season, Bradley Kaboza became the first Academy product to be named stage MVP when he received back-to-back awards following Stages II and III.
Amid the current conditions of the ongoing pandemic, the league has not committed to a schedule for Stage I, normally played at the back end of September.
For more information about the EYBL, visit: www.eybl.lv
by Dave Salmon
(Additional content courtesy of Allen Gunn)