Great Britain internationals Dan Clark (left) and Matthew Bryan-Amaning (right) go head-to-head at the Hoopsfix All-Star Classic
Abdul Kassim Photography/Hoopsfix.com
Some of GB basketball's brightest talent was on show at Brunel University on Sunday, 15 June at the inaugural Hoopsfix All-Star Classic.
The Hoopsfix All-Star Classic event was organised by Hoopsfix.com founder Sam Neter to showcase the depth of talent that exists in the UK despite withdrawal of UK Sport funding earlier this year.
More than 500 people crammed into Brunel University as tickets sold out in a matter of days, with proceeds going towards the Hoopsfix Foundation - a newly-launched not-for-profit initiative dedicated to helping grow the game of basketball in the UK in the face of the devastating cuts.
No fewer than 19 players who have been part of the GB Basketball programme answered the call of their country and took part in an enthralling Under-26 All-Star Game.
GB international Matthew Bryan-Amaning was named MVP as he led 'Team White' to an 87-85 triumph over 'Team Black' with 28 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, three assists and some clutch free throws.
He was joined by Lewis Champion, Elvisi Dusha, Ali Fullah, Leigh Greenan, Myles Hesson, Raheem May-Thompson, Louis Sayers and John Stewart; who have all been involved with GB under-20 or Senior sides.
Orlan Jackman and Dan Clark paced Team Black with 31 and 19 points respectively as they joined forces with fellow GB prospects Jamell Anderson, Devan Bailey, Rob Gilchrist, Will Hall, Levi Noel, Alex Scotland-Williamson and Zak Wells.
Olympian Clark showed what he was capable of following an injury interrupted season, but never lost sight of the greater reason behind the event.
He said: "I don't agree with UK Sport's boundaries that they set out at all.
"You can't compare a team sport to an individual sport, especially when it comes to an Olympic cycle, because in an individual sport there might be opportunities to win 50 medals whereas in basketball there is just one.
"There should be boundaries that offer a fairer set-up for everyone. It is frustrating.
"We are working on things like this. What Sam and Hoopsfix are doing now is great for everybody and it is a great opportunity for basketball to showcase itself.
"That's the main thing now. We have just got to find a way to fund ourselves or find private sponsors."
Neter was delighted with the response to the event having pulled it together and garnered support from major sponsors, including ESPN Player,2tall.com, Molten, Amaechi Performance Systems, Reach & Teach, Sportserve, 5or6, Always Ballin', Let Me Play, Wilkie TV, Seenit & Nando's.
He felt that success proved the potential for the sport in this country and should make the powers that be sit up and take notice.
"There are a lot of people that are incredibly frustrated with the lack of governmental support that basketball receives here," said Neter.
"Events such as these are a step forward and show how strong the basketball community is. Hopefully with the money raised and the ongoing work of the Foundation we will start making significant long-term changes. Right now the Olympic legacy is non-existent."
For more information about the Hoopsfix Foundation, and to watch highlights from the Hoopsfix All-Star Classic visit www.hoopsfix.com.