Basketball: Force on the up with new sponsors and top players

Armand Anebo.
Armand Anebo.
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Leeds Force have moved another week closer to their big BBL tip-off with a quartet of major announcements.

The British Basketball League rookies have confirmed the signing of two players in the last week; Yorkshire prospect Will Hall and American collegiate ace Patrick Nyeko.

They have also named long-serving player Armand Anebo as club captain as they embark on their adventure in the elite.

But perhaps the most significant announcement comes off the court in their new partnerhsip with the Esh Group – one of the north’s leading construction companies.

Esh, who already support successful BBL franchise Newcastle Eagles, will be the main sponsor of Leeds Force.

It is multi-year partnership that will have benefits for the club’s community programme as well.

Mark Mills, Force’s commercial director, said: “It is great to have a well-respected organisation such as Esh Group on board for our inaugural BBL season.

“It was vital that we found a partner that understood and embraced both the professional BBL team as well as our aspirations in the community.”

The signing of 20-year-old Hall is one that meets the club’s policy of growing the game in the county.

Leeds head coach Matt Newby said: “In signing Will we have a versatile forward with a very high basketball IQ.

“As a GB Under-20 he was one of the most consistent players in the program and irrespective of the level of pressure that comes he remains cool.”

Force – who begin their debut season against the Durham Wildcats on Sunday, September 28 – continued strengthening with the signing of 6’6” British guard Nyeko.

The London native will be joining Leeds after graduating from the University of Nevada in NCAA Division I.

Nyeko, who is renowned for his high-energy defensive intensity, has also represented England at Under-18s as well as GB at Under-20s at FIBA’s European Championships.

Newby added: “Patrick is a very humble young man who is prepared to do whatever it takes to help the team win. His attitude and work ethic shone through in his work outs and it’s obvious that he has a point to prove.”

And Anebo has been made captain after four years at the club. He said: “I’m looking forward to the new challenges that the BBL will bring and I am honoured to be named captain for the club’s first BBL season.”

Danny Nelson, Leeds Force head coach

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