IT’S been a chaotic season for everyone at Leeds Force, but even with the end of the season in sight, we haven’t given up and we want that first road win of the year down in Worcester on Friday.
We were disappointed not to get out on the court last week at home to Surrey due to the weather conditions, but it allowed us to get in some much-needed practice time, and we’ve been working hard on a number of areas to make sure our trip to Worcester doesn’t end the same way it did down there in December.
Myself and coach Danny Nelson have been working on our defence more than anything else with the guys, we can’t afford to continue leaking 100 points per game as we have this season and expect to win BBL games. If we can cut that down to 80 points before the end of the season, we’ll have achieved something so that’s still a huge focus for us.
It’s been a crazy season for all of us, and none us have achieved what we’ve hoped for. With all of the issues we’ve faced regarding our practice facilities and our playing roster, it was always going to be a difficult campaign – but we’re determined to end the season on a high, because we know catching Manchester in the standings is still a realistic goal for Leeds Force.
We need stability in the summer if we’re to compete next year, there needs to be a strong squad of 12 guys who are humble, willing to work and ready to lay everything on the line for this team. If we can have that – and sort everything out behind the scenes – then there’s no reason why we can’t push to become a mid-table side next season.
Those are our long-term goals, but for now it’s about rewarding our fans and giving our all in every game – we want to prove ourselves before the season ends and tack on a couple more wins before the season’s out.
We need stability in the summer if we’re to compete next year, there needs to be a strong squad of 12 guys who are humble, willing to work and ready to lay everything on the line for this team.Isaac Mourier
There’s been plenty of discussion on the lack of funding in British basketball in the aftermath of the Winter Olympics, and quite honestly I think it’s silly that these bodies seem to value medals over participation, which surely is the core foundation of all sports.
The focus should be on the number of people taking part – basketball is highly accessible to ethnic minorities and is an incredibly multi-cultural sport that accepts people from all socio-economic backgrounds. UK Sport are sending the wrong message; they’re offering support to people who don’t need support quite as much.
It’s important that the BBL focuses on what they can control, and if the league can continue to grow on so many platforms, then it becomes harder and harder for the government to ignore us. It’s hard to imagine a life without national teams in British basketball, especially considering I’ve aspired to represent GB on the international stage for my whole life.
We see GB players talking about their experiences on social media, and they’re still a huge motivation for me – without those role models who have succeeded from working class backgrounds, young kids from disadvantaged areas lose their heroes and icons. If funding is cut, those athletes disappear, and people see their chances of representing Britain across the world – their dream – snatched away from them.
That’s it for this week’s column, I hope you enjoyed it and we’re looking forward to you tuning in on livebasketball.tv as we take on Worcester Wolves on Friday night (7:30PM). #FeelTheForce
Interview: Seb Gigner