Name: Steve Vear
Posts by :
Our organisation would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Read the rest of this entry “
Female basketball is a well kept secret in the UK so when an Adidas commercial is made and it features a female player: this is something that has to be shouted about! Read the rest of this entry “
Last night brought some truly amazing news, where it was announced that Luol Deng got the go ahead to be appear in his first NBA All-Star game after being selected as a reserve by the Eastern Conference coaches. It comes at no better time for Deng who has bounced back after being out with a wrist injury to help catapult his Chicago Bulls to the best record in the East with many analysts calling them the best team in the NBA right now.
Luol was emotional and honoured to be chosen into his first all-star appearance, turning to his Twitter account to express his feelings:
Luol got a huge reception via his social media platforms with so many fans really getting behind him responding with some truly amazing and positive messages. Pictured you can see his tweet has already received over 1500 re-tweets:
“Words can’t describe how happy I am to make my first all star. Thanks to all my supporters and the coaches who voted for me. #Honored”
Honored: “It really is such a honor. To be apart of it, to say you are an All Star. I am excited to get to Orlando and soak up the atmosphere, it really is a huge honor”
UK Fans can watch the game live:
The 2012 NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Amway Center in Orlando on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 where ESPN will be showing the game live in the UK starting from midnight. We hope all you tune in to watch Luol in action, where we want to take this opportunity to thank you all for voting and supporting him – it means a lot to Luol and our team.
To see a full list of the All Star players and for more information please click HERE
Behind a huge game from Luol Deng and a game winning shot from MVP Derrick Rose, the Bulls win on Xmas day against the LA Lakers.
21/06/11 | By Steve Vear.
UK Basketball is a sport that over the last 20 years has gone through its ups and downs at both professional and junior levels in the UK. It is described as ‘unstable’ by basketball bods around Europe. Where will the sport be in the next 5-10 years? Answer: no-one knows, which is a problem but I feel that the future looks bright for basketball in the UK. Here are some of the the ‘positives’ that I feel are a great building block to elevate the game and hopefully generate some stability in the sport.
1. London 2012 Olympics: This is an obvious positive and is HUGE for the sport in the UK where our capital will be graced with the best basketball players on the planet. For the UK basketball community to be able to witness this level of play (live or on TV) at a suitable time (NBA League Pass and ESPN guys know my pain!) is a truly once in a lifetime opportunity. Yes, I am aware that there is some talks of negativity around what will be done pre, during and post the Games for basketball which looks to fall solely on British Basketball (point 2) – BUT just for the sheer entertainment and superstar factor is enough to get the sport moving forward!
2. British Basketball: As we know FIBA have stressed the importance of becoming one governance under British Basketball, which for me is a very much needed and positive move where I feel confident the NGB’s will adhere to! I do not say this just because every country follows this (which alone makes sense for us to follow suit) but for the reason of generally making our National Teams stronger playing in more competitions and will also make the process a lot more transparent and clearer to young inspiring kids who wish to represent GB. Sam Neter at Hoopsfix did a great piece on this, so please read up on this to understand the program. Take note what Patrick Baumann (Secretary General of FIBA) rightly states:
“If they disband, it most likely will be a step backwards. They would be going back to the way things were for so many years when they rarely appeared in our competitions.”
3. National League Clubs: Since being involved within the sport I have been able to see the growth of many basketball clubs which is a huge positive. This is evident through the obvious growth of Manchester Magic, who arguably have the current best junior set up in the country (thanks to the the Amaechi Centre and the local authority, along with some great coaches and Joe Forber’s direction). Although I feel London teams have failed to develop as they perhaps should have on a mass scale, there are some great clubs working across the capital doing great work, especially at the younger age groups of u12/u14′s. To ensure player pathway and player growth, I do feel clubs need to have more than one team, which I am totally aware of the cost implications which has and will always be an issue! When I was playing at Ealing Tornadoes at the age of 17 – I trained x4 times a week at the club with x3 teams (u18, u20 and D2 Mens) which meant I played up in my age group as well as compete against men at a young age. This helped me to get better and was the main reason I played for England at junior and senior level.
4. Participation Numbers: Taking the Active People’s Survey out of the conversation (don’t get me started) – Participation numbers in the UK are high! I know especially in London that many organisations are getting a huge amount of kids through the doors to play basketball which is very encouraging! I also have talks with many clubs that run the Hoops for Health program around the country with some figures being incredible.
5. Team GB: Both the Men’s and Women’s teams are competing and competing well. The women’s team have just qualified for Round 2 in EuroBasket 2011 (making history as never achieved before). The men’s team includes some real home grown talent which is important – guys that actually played here in the UK at clubs, same can be said for the women’s team also. This represents a key message to our young, aspiring players that they will be next.
6. Organisations/Individuals: Outside of National League Clubs, there are many organisations and individuals that generally want to help the sport here in the UK, providing essential projects and programs for a variety of young people (us being one of many). I do not need to name them as they know who they are and hopefully the basketball community also do >> These organisations are as important as the clubs!
I could keep on going with more positives but sure you get the point –> I am trying to get across that basketball in the UK is positive. It reaches out to people from all walks of life giving them a vast amount of benefits. I understand negativity mainly comes from frustration of a variety of boundaries we all face, but here at LDF UK (under Luol’s vision) we are pushing to get people to stop and think about why we love the sport! Outweigh the positives with the negatives, where you will notice the positives will always win. I am far from saying that I do not see the issues around the sport and totally understand that there is a HUGE amount of work that needs to be done to ever put UK basketball on the map but feel we need to look more positive at the sport here in the UK and be more constructive.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing your views and opinions!
Steve Vear, CEO of The Luol Deng Foundation UK
Follow me on Twitter: @SJVear