Image courtesy of Mansoor Ahmed.
The 2015/16 Season has been a spectacular one for the Knights with the Newcastle team winning the NBL Division 3 North Championship, BUCS Division 1 North Championship, BUCS National Trophy and the BUCS Premiership Promotion Playoffs. As a club Newcastle University Basketball has shone brightly in BUCS this year finishing 5th amongst all Universities and will now have both the Men’s and Women’s team competing with the best in the BUCS Premiership. The Men’s NBL team should also have gained promotion to NBL Division 2 after finishing top of Division 3 North with a 19-1 record, with just the paperwork to go the Knights have surely done enough to earn back to back promotions.
The BUCS squad were outstanding throughout the season and slayed all in their path and finishing the season unbeaten. The Knights finished 10-0 in the league, dominated the BUCS Trophy Final and won the BUCS Premiership Promotion Final after a shootout with Derby that served up over 20 made 3 pointers. The squad was dominated by Postgraduates Robbie Lemons, Nathan Ensz, Tayo Oyefusi, Charlie Wallrapp, Chuck Duru, Prince Lartey and Jack Beresford who all leave for pastures new this year alongside Undergraduate sniper George Beard, which does mean the Knights will be rebuilding for the 2016/17 season which will surely produce another exciting squad. Young big man Ben Chicken is the only returner but watch out for the new student athletes who will be announced soon.
The NBL squad also had an exciting season with the NBL Division 3 North providing an exciting dual with the talented Danum Eagles and Division 3 having some really strong outfits in the South such as Thames Valley, Oxford Brookes and Brunel. The Knights had an excellent league campaign and until the last league game had been undefeated in the league for 39 games since their entry into NBL which was some feat! One of the highlights of the season was down at Danum where the Knights battled back to win the game by 9 points and all but sealed the league. The other highlight of the years was definitely the NBL Division 3 Playoff Final, unfortunately Newcastle just fell short of the mark on that occasion but show cased their team basketball, style of play and toughness against a very experience and talented Thames Valley squad.
As a club the Women were outstanding and fought to keep their place in the BUCS Premiership as well as making it to their first ever Final 8 tournament. The Women’s Second team were coached by Women’s First Team player, Noelia Quintas, who led the team to league victory and promotion. The Men’s Second team also won their respective league and gained another valuable BUCS Promotion. The club continue to strive to new heights and with the Men’s team stepping up weight classes and the Women’s First team going into their second year in BUCS Premiership it will certainly be an exciting 2016/17 season.
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