A rather unique situation occurred on Tuesday night in Texas, when there were no less than 5 Englishmen taking to the court as Lamar Community College faced Frank Phillips College in one of the early games of the season for both teams.
It was the home team Frank Phillips who came out on top, but needed overtime to do it, beating Lamar Community College 107-97, despite a career high 26 points on 9/13 shooting from former Great Britain Under-20 fringe player Shore Adenekan (1992 born).
Frank Phillips are coached by Chris Hackett, himself from Sheffield, and feature Jordan Whelan (2 points, 1 rebound in 3 minutes), a former Manchester Magic guard now in his freshman year.
Meanwhile, Lamar have the aforementioned Adenekan, as well as Manchester’s Matt Sherriff (5 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist before fouling out in 15 minutes), and are coached by Chris Haslam, originally from Southport.
“For me it was great to have so many English players and coaches in the same gym,” said Hackett, talking to Hoopsfix after the game. “I hope it shows that no matter where you’re from, you can achieve your goals, if you are willing to work hard. Chris (Haslam) and myself both made the journey over a decade ago to play in the US and are now in coaching over here. Shore, Matty and Jordan are just beginning their journey, but they definitely have a bright future.”
“It was great to have 5 English (people) involved in the game,” said Haslam. “All 3 players got plenty of playing time and did very well.”
All three players are said to be impressing, in particular Adenekan who is now considered one of the best big men in the conference. The 6’9″ forward has offers from no less than 8 NCAA Division 1 schools, and is also in talks with the likes of Tulsa, Oklahoma and Memphis. Meanwhile, Sherriff has offers from a number of Division 2 schools and Hackett is pleased with how Whelan is adjusting, saying he “has a lot of tools and once he gets used to doing things at a much faster pace, I think he will do well over here.”
“We got off to a good start, but they did a great job of fighting back and had a chance to win it at the end of regulation,” said Hackett when talking about the match-up. “We had a three point play and a three our first two possessions of overtime and were able to control the game the rest of the way. I wasn’t pleased with the way we defended at times, but for the fans, it was an entertaining game and we shot the ball very well. Shore was a beast inside for them and we really didn’t have an answer for him.”
“It was a high scoring game obviously,” added Lamar coach Haslam. “For us we had too many defensive breakdowns late in the shot clock. Our guys played much better in the second half to grind their way back into the game. I think we ran out of gas a little bit in overtime after working so hard in the 2nd half to get back into the game. Frank Phillips did a great job executing in overtime and making plays at crucial times.”
Hoopsfix wants to wish both of them all the best for the season!
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