After securing a dramatic win away against Peterborough on 3 May 2017 to secure the AoC East Region Cup, the still battle strong CONEL Warriors received their well-earned silverware in a presentation at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London’s Enfield Centre today. Their tremendous win enables them to compete in the ABL next season, the UK national league of top basketball talent.
While they made time to celebrate today, the Warriors are not resting on their laurels, as they fly out to Barcelona next week to compete in the European Basketball Cup.
Jonathan Silman, Head of School for Sport and Public Services praised the team for their strength of character in winning a final away to a team, which had previously defeated them at home.
Jay Williams Head Coach for CONEL’s Basketball Academy talked of how hard work had paid off for the team. He said: “The team stuck to their training programmes through thick and thin, often starting early morning, weight and gym training throughout the day and training again in the evening. That’s what it takes to win, and they wanted to win.”
Kurt Hintz, the CONEL Vice Principal who set up the Basketball Academy around three years ago with the London School of Basketball (LSB) Chief Executive, Nhamo Shire, introduced him to speak.
Nhamo said: “All that you do on a basketball court translates to every area of your life. To win this league you have all shown great tenacity. You fight and you don’t give up and those qualities will guarantee your success in whatever career path you choose to follow.”
Andy Forbes, CONEL Principal and Chief Executive thanked the expertise of Coaches Jay Williams and Alex Ducasse, and the advice and development LSB had provided to lead the team to such an immense victory after only three years of operation.
He said: “The ambition and strength of spirit you have gained in winning the league will serve you well in all your future studies and sports endeavours. You should be all holding your heads very high.”
Andy Forbes presented each of the Basketball Academy members with their medals: Omar O’Garro, Benjamin Ankrah, Abdi Adan, Kerim Baysal, Jojo Baidoo, Reece Quinland, Kane Smallwood, Nick Kakouris, Rupert Burnett, Alex Malesi, Ola Oyedi , Gklori Santikou and Thabiso Khoza.
Four special awards were also handed out.
‘Players’ Player’ went to Rupert ‘TJ’ Burnett for his commitment and ability to get along with everyone and support his team mates.
‘Most Improved Player’ went to Gklori Santikou who put in the practice, gym and weight training to take his game to a much higher level and advance the overall quality of the team in the process. Abdi Adan was given an honourable mention in this category.
‘Best Academic Player’ went to Nick Kakouris who is on course to achieve distinctions in his Sport Development Level 3 and is progressing to UEL to study Sports Psychology
‘Best Defensive Players’ were names as Cristian Arthur and Alex Malesi for their ability to stop their opponents scoring and control the rebound.
And ‘Most Valuable Player’ was awarded to Thabiso Khoza, described as the ‘glue’ that held the team together.
Thabiso Khoza, who also captains the team and studies Engineering Level 3, is progressing to a degree in mechanical engineering at De Montfort University. He said of his team: “We played in the final with confidence and we knew what we had to do.”
Rupert ‘TJ’ Burnett, who studying Sports Level 2, said on winning ‘Player’s Player’: “It feels good. I did everything I could to support team, I get on with everyone and always called if someone missed training to make sure they were OK.”
- Last Updated: 06 April 2018