The move will see the franchise partner with both GLL (Greenwich Leisure Ltd) and Reach & Teach Sports Network (R&T), with both partners playing an integral part in the development of a community orientated franchise.
The Lions will initially be based at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre before moving for the 2013/14 season to the impressive 6,000 seat, Copperbox at the Olympic Park as part of the Olympic Legacy.
Lions Vince Macaulay enthused ‘We can’t wait to get started! With the partnership of GLL and R&T, combined with an incredible venue, I feel we have all the building blocks in place for a hugely successful community basketball club’
GLL Director Peter Bundey added; “There is already a growing debate around legacy from the Games and this is the first of many tangible initiatives that we are working on under our ‘GLL Inspired’ Legacy programme. We believe that this partnership will become the most exciting legacy catalyst for Basketball in London, with unrivalled community engagement working alongside a premium BBL club. This will be a structure that is also capable of bringing a much needed development pathway to support other basketball clubs within the Capital. It is therefore fitting that the London Lions will be playing their matches from 2013 in London’s newest and most exciting sporting arena”.
Nhamo Shire of Reach & Teach said ‘We’re committed to the growth and development of the game at the grassroots level and support clubs throughout London in a number of ways to help increase participation. We’ve been working closely with GLL for the past 18 months in developing new opportunities in London, so adding the London Lions to the landscape should help elevate our efforts in getting more people playing, watching, coaching and getting involved with our sport. It’s an exciting time for our game on all levels and we’re looking forward to a new era of growth and development of our game across the capital’.
The new partnership created for the London Lions has been welcomed by London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) who will oversee the legacy transformation and activation of the Olympic Park.
Daniel Moylan, Chairman, London Legacy Development Corporation said “Basketball has been one of the most popular sports of the 2012 Games and we are delighted that our operating partner GLL is bringing the Lions to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The Copper Box will host at least 21 basketball games per year as well as offering a wide range of sporting opportunities for the public to use on a daily basis.”
BBL Chairman Paul Blake said “The partnership between Lions, GLL, R&T and one of the London 2012 Olympic legacy facilities means a great future for the club and more basketball activity in our capital city, which can only be good news.’
The relocation of the franchise marks the end of a 14 year stay for the club in Milton Keynes.
Macaulay has also been confirmed as the Head Coach and General Manager of the London Lions.
Photo of The Copper Box from The Lady Travels
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