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Friday 24 September 2021

Slam-dunk for basketball in City as UCLan and Preston Basketball Club form alliance

New partnership aims to grow and develop the sport in local community

Preston Basketball Club (PBC) and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have formed an official partnership to realise ambitious plans of growing and developing the sport in Preston.

The partnership will see PBC use UCLan’s Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre as its home venue, with a key aim of attracting spectators to the games.

PBC’s senior men’s team currently plays in National Basketball League Division Three but is striving to break into National Basketball League Division One, with the UCLan link up playing an integral part.

The Club will work closely with UCLan’s Men’s Basketball Club, with players from both teams able to train and play together in both the National and British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Leagues.

"As partners, we can achieve great things together and hopefully build up a popular community following by playing at the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre in front of a crowd."

Preston Basketball Club treasurer Andrew Thrower

As part of this mutually beneficial relationship, the teams will share coaching and facilities resources as well as benefitting from match analysis, fitness and conditioning, sports therapy and match media reports, all provided by UCLan students keen to gain practical, hands-on, experience.

Preston Basketball Club treasurer Andrew Thrower said: “Since lockdown restrictions lifted, we’ve seen a big increase in members, so this is the perfect time to take our ambitions to the next level.

“As partners, we can achieve great things together and hopefully build up a popular community following by playing at the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre in front of a crowd. Our aim is to make the Club as professional as possible and I am confident we can achieve this through our relationship with UCLan.”

Dr Adrian Ibbetson, Director of Sport at UCLan, said: “We’re delighted to establish this close working relationship with Preston Basketball Club, which will hopefully provide a platform for the sport to develop in the local community and boost the standard of play at the University.

"It will allow our sports scholarship programme to flourish in this more professional set up. "

Dr Adrian Ibbetson, Director of Sport at UCLan

“In particular, it will allow our sports scholarship programme to flourish in this more professional set up and provide the ideal environment for the many students on sports-related courses to gain work experience and develop their skills.”

Preston Basketball Club’s first home game at the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre will take place on the 25 September at 2.00pm in a cup-tie against St Helen’s Saints, followed by the first League game on the 10 October against Tameside at 2.00pm, also at home.

Entry for spectators is free and there is no need to book.

For more information visit the Preston Basketball Club website or contact head coach Sam Fitzpatrick. More information about the UCLan Men’s Basketball Team is available on the UCLan website or by contacting men's head performance coach Craig Wright.