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Top Basketball coming to Harlow

Lifestyle / Mon 23rd Jun 2014 at 04:33pm

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TOP flight England Basketball League action will come to Harlow Leisure Zone for the first time following the announcement of a partnership between Harlow Hawks and Essex Leopards.

The Big Cats will play six to eight division one games on Saturday evenings while continuing to stage their other games at the Brentwood Centre.

Leopards won the league, play-offs and National Cup treble in 2012 before winning the National Trophy in 2013 and finishing as division one runners-up last season.

They normally recruit two American players who combine playing with coaching in local schools, with last year’s 6’9” forward Howard Crawford leading the league in points per game (20.8), total blocks (25) and free-throw percentage (78.3%).

Hawks will continue to run a senior team in the Herts League together with junior sides in both national and local leagues, and head coach Shab Niaz is excited about the link-up with the Leopards.

“We’ve always wanted to run a team in the national league and working with the Leopards gives us the chance to do that,” he said.

“Hopefully watching top flight basketball will give the younger players something to aspire to, and we’re excited that Leopards are coming to Harlow.”

Leopards’ general manager Dave Ryan is also excited about the Big Cats playing in Harlow, saying: “We’ve been looking for another venue to grow the club, and the Leisure Zone is perfect.

“We’re looking to become part of the sporting world in Harlow and hope that the people of the town will support us.”

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