Hoopsfix Review of 2014: April-June - Hoopsfix.com

Hoopsfix Review of 2014: April-June

Check out the second installment of our look back at 2014, with the action picking up from April-June.

April

Reading Rockets wrapped up the Division One title with two games remaining as they completed an historic treble.

Luol Deng announced his invite-only top 50 camp and would also receive the 2013-14 J.Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.

The EBL season began to draw to a close with London Greenhouse Pioneers taking the D3 Playoffs title and Liverpool winning the D4 final against BC Medelynas.

Alex Dorr put in a dominant display as Derby TrailBlazers claimed the Division 2 playoff title. Meanwhile, Leeds Carnegie came out on top in the D1 final ahead of their switch to the BBL.

Newcastle Eagles won their sixth BBL Championship and Zaire Taylor would later be crowned BBL Player of the Year after a dominant second season in the league, helping Worcester to their first ever piece of silverware.

EBL Players/Coaches of the Year announced with Reading’s Josh Wilcher taking the D1 award. Hoopsfix gave out its own EBL season awards where Wilcher once again claimed the top D1 honour, with a few variables from the official list throughout the other divisions.

Despite the funding cuts, British Basketball announced that GB U20s would still compete in the summer, and they would not make a formal appeal regarding UK Sport’s decision. Doug Leichner and James Vear were later confirmed as the returning GB U20 coaches ahead of the European Championships in Crete.

The national summer began with England U16s heading to Slovakia, while the U18s competed in the Albert Schweitzer tournament. The under-16’s finished with a 1-2 record after losing to the hosts in the final game of the tournament. As for the U18s, they achieved a 10th place finish, after picking up wins over Japan and Slovenia.

Josh Steel and Akwasi Yeboah were selected for the Basketball Without Borders Camp in Rome, Kingsley Okoroh signed with University of California at Berkeley and Devon van Oostrum declared for the NBA Draft.

May

England Basketball announced league structure changes for the 2014-15 season with a number of promotions taking place. James Vear won the Coach of the Year award in Denmark after guiding Aalborg Vikings to the playoffs.

Results and analysis of the EBL Junior Final Fours covering the U14, U16 & U18 age groups. The EABL season reached its conclusion with the Elite Eight, and Final Fours with Barking Abbey taking the inaugural under-19 Championship title.

Worcester Wolves claimed a memorable double after beating Newcastle Eagles in the Playoff Final, behind Zaire Taylor’s MVP performance.

The first-ever Hoopsfix All-Star classic was announced, with the U16 rosters later revealed.

Karolis Stepanavicius was handed a 2-year ban by England Basketball following an incident which marred the end of the D3 Playoff final in April.

The annual NBA regular season game in London was announced with the New York Knicks returning to the capital to take on Milwaukee Bucks in January, 2015.

June

The U26 rosters were announced for the Hoopsfix All-Star Classic with a number of leading Brits on show. Jelani Watson-Gayle impressed in the U16 game, while Matthew Bryan-Amaning came out as the MVP in the U26 game, to lead Team White to a victory over Team Black.

Carl Wheatle played in the U16 game at HASC14 and reflected on his maiden year in Italy.

England under-16’s lost 2-1 in a series in Sweden, while the GB U20s lost three games in a Tourcoing tournament, before beating USA. Coach Leichner’s men then split two games in a Spanish tournament, beating Belarus after losing to the hosts.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu agreed a 2-year deal with Greek side Olympiakos, only for the move to later fall through after a failed medical.

Finally, the preliminary GB Senior roster was revealed with an initial 22 players included on the list.

Also, the 4th episode of the Hoopsfix podcast featured John Amaechi.

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