Barking Abbey are pleased to announce a partnership with British Basketball League (BBL) side London Lions, that will see a merger between their Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) WBBL and BBL squads, along with improved junior development opportunities.
The agreement will see Barking Abbey’s WBBL side come underneath the Lions umbrella, becoming known as BA London Lions, whilst the Lions BBL side will hold spots for Barking Abbey’s top junior players to aid with their development.
Barking Abbey will become the elite academy provider for the London Lions, with both the EABL and WEABL teams becoming feeder teams for the professional outfit and completing the pathway for some of the country’s top junior players.
Additionally, coaches from Barking Abbey will join the Lions staff on both the BBL and WBBL squads.
The move comes with Lions continuing to have aspirations for Europe, with the men targeting the Basketball Champions League, and now the women wanting to take part in a European club competition.
Mark Clark, Barking Abbey Director commented:
“The potential for Lions is huge. Our partnership will give Lions the opportunity to become a major club on a European scale. The aspirations of Lions to compete in Europe, to become the number one club in British Basketball and the need to develop British players to raise the level of the game in the UK are complimentary.
“The vision of men’s and women’s British teams in Europe is realistic in the short term. This relationship can contribute to making that a reality.”
Lions Chief Executive, Vince Macaulay added:
“Providing a complete pathway for basketball has always been our aim, working closely with partners in London to reduce duplication whilst capitalising on best practices, Barking Abbey have been at the forefront of basketball development for many a long year and I am excited we have been able to bring things together.”
BA London Lions women will play home games at the Copper Box Arena prior to the men’s BBL team as often as possible and the programme will offer female athletes an opportunity to be part of London’s only professional basketball club.