April was a busy month for members of the GB Maxis performance programme – some more than others – as we are proud to report that no less than four of our players and coaches were appointed to Basketball England national team roles.
We are delighted to congratulate GB Maxis player RUTH EYTLE, who was announced by Basketball England on 27 April as Head Coach of the National U14 Girls Squad and heading to Serbia for the next part of their England Talent Programme (ETP) development. The U14 Girls will travel to the Eastern European basketball hotbed for a camp and games between Thursday 1 June to Sunday 4 June. Ruth also champions community basketball in London through her programme ‘Hoops B4 Work’, as well as playing national league. GEMMA SALMON (GB Maxis 35+ player) will also be joining Ruth Eytle as an Assistant Coach with the England U14s in Serbia.
Going up an age group, the international honours for GB Maxis continue with coach MIKE MARTIN who was appointed as Assistant Coach to the England U16 Boys, who recently took the Silver medal in the U16 Four Nations International Tournament in a thrilling final overtime game against Ireland at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dubin last month. Mike has been involved in the ETP Regional Aspire Talent camps in London and says he was delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with these young international players.
Moving onto the U18 age group, we were also pleased to hear of the appointment of Coach LIAM JEFFERSON to the England U18 Men coaching staff. You may remember that Liam was Head Coach of GB Maxis M35+ team and secured Great Britain’s first ever Silver medal at last year’s European Maxibasketball Championships in Malaga. This time, as England U18 Assistant Coach, Liam has gone one better as the England U18s completed a clean sweep by winning all their games at the U18M Four Nations International Tournament in Cardiff and returning with the Gold medal and tournament trophy ! Massive congratulations to Liam …there’s no stopping him now!
Of course, we would like to acknowledge the work of GB Maxis coaches Caroline Charles and Stephen Barnes who also give their time to support the development of talented players on the England Talent Pathway, coaching at BE’s regional Aspire Talent Camps. So congratulations to all our players and coaches; thank you for being part of the GB Maxibasketball programme and we wish you all the best in your respective regional and national team roles.