Following the recent announcement concerning the clubs promotion to Division 2 and the continued Division 4 developmental team, both Hoods teams now know the challenges they face next season with the full league structure announced by Basketball England.
Joining McDonald’s Nottingham Hoods in earning promotion are Solent Kestrels and league and play-off champions Liverpool. The Hoods played Liverpool 3 times in the season, with Hoods edging the home tie in the league but Liverpool winning the away leg and when the two teams met in an epic overtime battle in the National Shield semi-final. Both teams have built up quite a reputation this season on the court and are renowned throughout the league for their match day experiences and fan support. No doubt the Merry Men will look forward to going through it all again next season. NAASA are the only team to be relegated from Division 1 and have been renamed East London All Stars.
The Hoods will also line up against two local rivals in Derbyshire Arrows and Loughborough Student Riders (who are supported by BBL side Leicester Riders). Worcester Wolves are also backed by their BBL team and in Brixton Topcats they have one of the most famous clubs in the national league structure – where Luol Deng learnt his trade.
The former Division 4 has been renamed the National Basketball Development League, with McDonald’s Nottingham Hoods playing in the North East Division of the 5 leagues, where they will be joined by new team, University of Nottingham, as well as Sheffield Sabres who were relegated from Division 3 last season.
GM Lee English commented, “We are absolutely delighted to have earned promotion, thanks to a fantastic season on the court and the huge effort of my backroom volunteers off it, but the hard work starts now. The top two tiers of the National Basketball League are extremely competitive and a huge step up from Division 3. Every game at this level will feel like a play-off game in comparison. Most of the teams are long established or backed by a BBL franchise, meaning they are experienced and have a huge talent group to pull from, with a lot of players at this level representing their countries at one level or another.
Having said that, it is no accident that we are in this league and we have the city of Nottingham behind us and the huge amount of local talent that comes with it. We are already a long way down the road in discussions with current players returning as well as new signings from Nottingham and further afield and we will be a strong force next season. I also look forward to the Hoods II continuing their progress next season, with more young talent making the transition from Junior to Senior basketball. I for one can’t wait for the new season to start!”
NBL Senior Structure 2015-16
Mens Division Two – 12 teamsNottingham Hoods Brixton Topcats Derbyshire Arrows East London All Stars Eastside Eagles Ipswich Liverpool London Greenhouse Pioneers London Westside Loughborough Student Riders Solent Kestrals Worcester Wolves
Mens National Basketball Development League North East – 10 teamsNottingham Hoods II Derby Trailblazers III Doncaster Danum Eagles II Gateshead Phoenix Kingston Panthers Leeds Tigers Sheffield Hallam Sharks Sheffield Sabres Sunderland City Predators University of Nottingham