Carnegie Basketball prepare for British Basketball League
With close links to Leeds Metropolitan University, the club will arrive in the British BasketballLeague (BBL)on a high having signed off their EBL Division One season in style by finishing top of the pile at the 2014 Final Fours, with a memorable victory in the showpiece game against Reading Rockets.
It was British playmaker Jack Stannard who came up trumps with 27 points as Carnegie celebrated scooping more silverware, having previously won the EBL National Cup during 2012-13.
Head coach Matt Newby masterminded his team beating all three of the top seeds en-route to the top of the EBL Play-off podium, claiming the scalps of Hemel, Essex and Reading. The play-caller is excited at the challenge which lies in wait this Autumn, having already pitted his wits against BBL opposition earlier this year when Carnegie were defeated by Glasgow Rocks in the first round of the BBL Trophy.
Mattcommented: "This is a fantastic endorsement of our programmes vision and philosophy and to enter the BBL in an expansion year with EBL stable mates Bristol Flyers is an exciting prospect. The challenge is to replicate the success we have had climbing the EBL ranks at the next level whilst maintaining our strong interest in a community focus, continuing to develop our junior national league programme and building on the successful launch of our own academy at Allerton High School. Each reflect our commitment to build a programme, not just a team, and reinforce the fact that we are interested in the continued development of the game itself in our region which compliments the BBL'S future focus and their foundation's commitment to the development of the sport.
"I would like to thank all the staff at Leeds Metropolitan University for their commitment and support of the programme, the continued hard work of those working within the Leeds Carnegie Basketball Foundation and England Basketball for their advice and guidance. Without the input of these people we would not have achieved so much in such a short time. Finishing this season with silverware was the ultimate way to sign off our EBL tenure and essentially the end of an era, but the proposition of leading a team out in to the BBL in 2014-15 is a reality now and I am excited that we have the opportunity to start a new journey in the top flight."
Carnegie have certainly enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence since their inaugural season eight years ago. Having moved through the EBL divisions, they are now about to take the final step and one which excites BBL Chief Operating Officer, Andy Webb.
He said: "We are thrilled to be welcoming Leeds Carnegie to the BBL family and everyone is looking forward to working with them and helping them to develop during coming seasons.Their inclusion will also give us a second club in Yorkshire and I am sure they will relish playing derby games during the course of the season".
"Importantly, they also have a robust community programme underpinning the club. As well as the senior men's team, they operate a women's team and an extensive junior programme which covers various age ranges- something which we strongly endorse. We have been working with Leeds over the last fifteen months, and are impressed with their plans and their readiness for taking the very big step up to the BBL."