North East Connected

Young Middlesbrough Basketball Star Secures Leeds Uni Offer

basketball smallA young basketball star from Teesside Lions will be plying his skills at a premier Leeds University next season after receiving an unconditional offer on the back of his sporting ability.

Anthony Reed, who recently turned 18 years old, is looking forward to building on the foundations he has established with Teesside Lions over the last seven years. Leeds Beckett University has an excellent basketball programme with the Leeds Carnegie Force club playing at fully professional BBL level as well as having developmental teams in other leagues and the BUCS (British University and College Sports) League.

Anthony will study Accounting and Finance and is currently sitting his exams at Nunthorpe 6th Form College, where he also attended secondary school. Regarded as one of the best young players in the area, he has also developed his refereeing and coaching skills and is seen as an inspiration to many.

Head Coach of Teesside Lions James Thomson, said: “I am very proud of Anthony. He has developed into one of the most accomplished players ever to play for the club and we have had some great youngsters come through the ranks. He has been very loyal and dedicated and this has paid off. His skills, understanding and technique is excellent and he is maturing all the time.

“He is a very graceful player with all round ability and athleticism.

“It has been a pleasure to coach him and witness his progression and I look forward to following his future.

“We have a number of good players at the club currently and every now and again one just stands out for all the right reasons. Anthony has in many ways been my right hand man. Over the years he has shown a leadership and interest in coaching. Coaches are not taught over a weekend, they are moulded over months and years and see Anthony as an extension of myself at the sessions which has helped countless other children at our ever popular sessions across Teesside.”

In addition to his coaching development, Anthony is also a qualified referee.

Anthony said: “I don’t want it to feel like the end of an era in terms of my association with Lions. I have already told Coach Thomson I am hoping to be back as much as I can as University allows and I will certainly be following the team and keeping in touch with the guys and Coach Thomson.

“I am very grateful to James and everyone at Lions. It has been a huge part of my life and given me opportunities I could only have dreamed of. I have played in senior national league games in big arena’s, I have captained my age group and had opportunities to coach the next generation. It has shaped me into who I am today.

“I love the philosophy that James has instilled at the club. He is more a big brother or father figure and whenever we have a problem or need advice, he is there. A couple of years ago he set up a revision camp for exams prior to training to help a couple of the players. I was pretty good in one of the subjects so he had a few of us tutor the other guys. It was great for our team bond.”

Anthony is also grateful to his parents, in particular his Dad Steve, who has taken him to sessions for over seven years and games around the country.

“My Mum and Dad have been very supportive of my basketball. I have always had the opinion that they look after me while I am young and I will look after them when they are old, but now is a good time to say how grateful I am for the support they have given me.”

In terms of accolades, Anthony has won a host of trophies during his time including League MVP in 2014/15 and Finals MVP in 2015/2016. He has also attended England regional trials.

When asked if he had any advice for other young players, he replied: “I can only say for the players at Lions, stay focused, stay loyal and give 100%. Use everything as motivation. If you don’t get much time in games, work harder and show the coach why you deserve it. I have been through the stage where I was the young player, or not as good as others. I have been to games where I have not played very much, but I stayed strong. I trusted the coach and in time I was rewarded. It’s sometimes difficult to understand at the time but looking back I have seen the perfect development curve for not just me but many of the players at the club. We are very fortunate.”

Teesside Lions have a number of junior teams competing in regional leagues and CVL’s. If anyone is interested in playing basketball, regardless of age and ability, there are sessions available for both boys and girls of all standards.

Community sessions run every Wednesday 6-7pm and Saturday 10-11am for junior players at Queens Campus, Stockton TS17 6BH (next to Stockton Riverside College on the Teesdale site).

For further info on sessions or the club email or call 01642 814221.

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