Tag Archive: basketball

Netting the funds: Bradford basketball team aim to slam dunk donations

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 COACHES: Both Ezzy and Zaman put their hands in their pockets to keep the club running but have now run out of funds

COACHES: Both Ezzy and Zaman put their hands in their pockets to keep the club running but have now run out of funds

A Bradford women’s basketball team may have to disband if they do not get the help from their local community in the funding of their sports hall where they practice.

Bradford Cobras are an all inclusive club which has players of all abilities, backgrounds and cultures, who come together to thrive both on and off the court.

However, Bradford College have said they will have to start charging the team to use their sports facilities as the college’s costs are currently running too high.

Bradford Cobra’s coach, Zaman Akbary, said: “We are under pressure. Bradford College are asking us to pay for the sports hall and we can’t afford that. We don’t have any budget left. They are asking for £35 an hour. We can get 20 per cent discount but in the meantime, we are looking to apply for some funding and get help from the community if possible.”

Zaman works at Bradford College but volunteers his own free time for the girls.

“We really are struggling with the financial side of things. Everything else seems quite good. We entered the team in the league again and we’re looking forward to playing matches, our next one is 13th November.”

Set up last year by students, Ezdihar Abdulmula, known as Ezzy, and Zaman Akbary, the team have had a successful year, finishing fourth in the local league and reaching the semi-finals of the cup.

Despite a lack of funding, the club continues to act as an important social hub for players with both Ezzy and Zaman ‘putting their hands in their pockets’ to keep the club running in recent months.

Explaining why they had taken the decision to set up the club, Ezzy said: “There were a number of reasons behind it.

“I was without a club having finished university last year so needed somewhere to play.

“Zaman and I both already coached within the Bradford Dragons set-up but there was no women’s team at that time.

“We also wanted to create a place for girls, who aren’t necessarily students, to play. They are under-represented in basketball but there is a desire to get on the court.

“Some of our players travel from Harrogate, Huddersfield and Leeds just to train here.”

BACK OF THE NET: The women’s team have entered many competitions and have even reached the semi-finals of the cup

BACK OF THE NET: The women’s team have entered many competitions and have even reached the semi-finals of the cup

Zaman and Ezzy, both 22, volunteer and run the club, with any money paid for membership going towards helping fund league entry and payment of referees.

“Some people were critical of us setting up the women’s team,” Ezzy added, “saying because there is no funding around we won’t be able to get anywhere.

“We have both put a lot of money into setting this place up – getting the kits sorted, referees, and league fees and even now there are more challenges to overcome.”

Zaman continued: “We have proven a lot of people wrong this year and the main reason for that is the team spirit and self-belief.

“A lot of our girls have hardly played basketball before. This year they have faced players from England’s Women’s Basketball League and only lost by a couple of points.

“Everyone affiliated with the team can hold their heads high.”

Over a dozen nationalities represent the club and the team remains high in spirits. The coaches say the team are ‘like a family’.

“We are breaking down barriers here,” Ezzy said. “We have girls from all cultures and backgrounds. Girls are playing whilst still being covered with their hijabs.

“A lot of people have learnt from us and we have learnt from them too.”

If you would like to help the Bradford Cobras continue, please visit:

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-our-basketball-club/

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Like father like son: Local family aiming for a double slam-dunk in wheelchair

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FAMILY: Zeb and Armaan Ayub both suffer from a genetic bone disorder and play wheelchair basketball

FAMILY: Zeb and Armaan Ayub both suffer from a genetic bone disorder and play wheelchair basketball

A father and son from Bradford, who share the same genetic bone disorder, are determined to take the wheelchair basketball scene by storm with Europe in their sights.

Mohammed Aurangzebe Ayub, known as ‘Zeb’, and his four-year-old son, Armaan, both suffer from Diaphyseal Aclasis, meaning excess bone grows from joints and other bones in the body.

With limited movement affecting the pair at different stages of their lives, it is through wheelchair basketball that they are able to stay fit and take part in competitive sports.

BASKETBALL: Taking up the sport at four-years-old, Zeb believes Armaan has the potential to go all the way in the sport

BASKETBALL: Taking up the sport at four-years-old, Zeb believes Armaan has the potential to go all the way in the sport

Zeb, who currently represents local side Leeds Spiders and was voted Player of the Year last season, first took up the sport during his college education and says he immediately fell in love with it.

Hoping to give his son ‘the chances he never had’, the 33-year-old says by letting Armaan begin training so young, it gives him the best chance of progression.

Zeb explained: “Armaan was diagnosed with the bone disorder at two-years-old and has already had both his legs and shoulders operated on.

“Because he has seen me playing basketball in the chair, his interest was piqued at a young age and he is currently training with Keighley Cougars, where he is the youngest player.

“I have never known a kid to be as strong as Armaan. He has proven how fearless he is throughout his life, and I am so proud to see him playing.

“He has already shown so much potential and I believe he can make it all the way to play in Europe one day, where he can earn a living doing something he really enjoys.”

Diaphyseal Aclasis particularly affects young people during their growth spurts, meaning Armaan is likely to face more surgeries as he grows older.

By playing wheelchair basketball, Zeb hopes it will provide extra support for his son.

“Around Armaan’s seventh birthday it is likely that he will have to spend a lot of time in a wheelchair because as he grows it will affect his movements,” he added.

“Wheelchair basketball is not only a way for him to continue enjoying himself but also acts as a way of staying positive and acts as physio for his recovery.”

Last season was one of the most successful for Zeb personally in the sport, as he helped the Spiders get promoted to the Wheelchair Basketball Premier Division.

He plays as either a points guard or guard and helped turn the season around at the local club when he arrived, following a spell at one of the nation’s top teams, the Oldham Owls.

Currently training to become a qualified coach alongside his playing career, he is hopeful of securing a play-off spot this season, with a dream final against Oldham in his sights.

 

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Play-off Champions

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Leeds Carnegie Basketball finally picked up their first ever playoff crown last weekend after a back-and-forth affair with League Champions, Reading Rockets.

A 71-65 point victory sealed Leeds’ inaugural playoff title with a man-of-the-match performance from MVP Jack Stannard, who picked up 27 points at the Amaechi Basketball Centre, Manchester.

CHAMPIONS: MVP Jack Stannard and Leeds Carnegie Basketball coach, Samit Nuruzade, celebrated winning the division one title last weekend

CHAMPIONS: MVP Jack Stannard and Leeds Carnegie Basketball coach, Samit Nuruzade, celebrated winning the division one title last weekend

The victory was all the more sweeter for the Yorkshire side as former Rockets coach, Samit Nuruzade, who left the Berkshire club in the summer, is now part of the coaching set up at Leeds.

Under Nuruzade’s tenure, Reading won the league and cup double last season and it seems success is following the coach through his prolific career.

The game itself was close throughout with both sides coming into the final off strong semi-final performances.

An 18-14 scoreline after the first quarter highlighted the similarities between the sides yet it was the Rockets who upped their game in the second to take the lead at the half way point.

23 points were scored by the league champions in the second quarter, answered only by 14 in return, leaving the score at 37-32.

After the interval, Leeds came back strongly and managed to tie up the game and setup the perfect final quarter where anybody could clinch the title.

Momentum was with the Carnegie side and it showed as some intelligent play gave the local side a lead which they were never going to lose. The side showed determination to hold on until the final whistle and, despite a late Reading comeback, pick up the season’s most prized piece of silverware.

Josh Wilcher’s 19 point haul for the Rockets was not enough to help his side comeback and the title was Leeds’.

The majority of Leeds’ scoring came courtesy of MVP Stannard, who led the way with 27 points. Backing him up was Russell Permenter, who claimed 15 points of his own alongside eight blocks.

Victory signals a big stepping stone for Leeds Carnegie who will now relish the chance to play in the country’s biggest league, the British Basketball League (BBL), next season in their first rookie year.

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Six in a row for high flying Dragons

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Bradford Dragons hot run of form continued last weekend as they edged past Northumbria, 76-63, to extend their winning streak to six games.

The Dragons climb to second spot in the EBL Division One with the victory, which comes off the back of an equally impressive 81-56 thumping of Leicester Warriors in their previous outing.

The away fixture always looked a tricky match to tackle yet a big performance in the third quarter gave the visitors a deserved win.
bradford dragons

Playing without big man Chris McGrew, injured in the game the night before, Dragons trailed by eight points at the half, but dug deep in defence and a 27-8 third quarter surge turned the game

Dan Foley top-scored for the leagues in-form side, on 21, whilst Carl Pearson (16) and veteran Vance Silcott (13) also reached double digits.

The Dragons next game is at home this weekend on Saturday 7th December against the highly rated Newham Neptune (NASSA) who currently sit fifth in the table. Just two points separate the sides going into the encounter, with both teams eyeing up surprise leaders Hemel Storm.

Last weekend also saw victory for the Dragons U15 side who picked up a 74 – 69 home win against Newcastle Eagles to go top of the EBL U15 North East division.

 

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