Hoop Dreams for Team East Durham

East Durham College’s basketball team got off to a flying start as they ran out comfortable winners against local rivals Gateshead College. In their first game of the season Team East Durham produced an encouraging display winning by 81 points to 31.

Top scorer was Divine Kupe with 21 points. Divine was also singled out as the MVP (Most Valuable Player) on the day.

The team coach, Tony Doyley, said: “Overall the team played well, but there is room for improvement. There were some great moments in defence, particularly by Elisio Dos Santos with some excellent blocking and rebounding. Captain Kieran Wright also showed some great leadership qualities. Overall a very pleasing start.”

The game marked an important step in the rebuilding of Team East Durham’s Basketball Development Centre. The centre structure was changed in the Summer, following the introduction of a new partnership with the Tees Valley Mohawks. Tony Doyley, from Chattanooga in Tennessee, captain of the Mohawks, took over as head coach of Team East Durham in September.

College Principal, Ian Prescott, said: “I’m delighted with the result and the manner of the victory. But I’m also thrilled with the contribution the Mohawks and particularly Tony Doyley have made. Tony has been an inspiration to our students.

“We are pleased that the rebuilding of the basketball development centre is going so well. It’s wonderful to see the great team spirit and the student athletes developing as players and individuals."

Mr Prescott, added: “The Basketball Development Centre is well and truly back in business and is in a position to play an important role in the community and once again find and nurture local talent.

“It was great that the team was so well supported by both students and staff too, the game has created a real buzz about the place.”

The team will next play in a return game against Gateshead, at a date to be scheduled.

The full Team East Durham squad was:

Elisio Dos Santos
Nathaniel Isebor
James Okello
Craig Hammond
Karzan Mohammed
Divine Kupe
Kieran Wright
Jamel George
Laura Kane
Charlie Collins
William Blakey
Niall Lawton