Of 142 players registered for the 2013-14 BBL Championship season, the overwhelming majority of those stepping out are British at 102, which represents an exciting 71% . Of the remaining 40 players across the 12 clubs, only 25 are American, with a further 15 from other EU countries.
Most importantly of all, it is also translating into playing time. Of the 6080 minutes of court time handed out so far this season, 3667 minutes (60%) have been played by British players and Percival is absolutely delighted with the positive news.
He said, “It’s finally time to dispel the absolute myth continually rolled out by some people which incorrectly labels the BBL as being full of Americans or naturalised Americans.”
“We have just five naturalised American players in the entire league.”
“Some five years ago, we set a deliberate policy and mandated it through our Rules in response to this ‘too many Americans’ criticism and, more importantly, this went hand-in-hand with our to support the long-term success of the Great Britain national team.”
“To have home-grown players getting almost 30% more playing time than footballers in the Premier League for example, is something we are very much celebrating,” continued Percival.
“The fact that the BBL gives opportunities to young British players is also something we are very proud of. We have seen a number of our Clubs respond to the challenge by making very substantial investments in academies and developing young local talent.”
“Our success with this was also reflected when we saw a number of current and former BBL players make it to the Great Britain roster at EuroBasket in the summer, and the number of Great Britain under 20 players in BBL squads.”
“Players such as Gareth Murray and Drew Sullivan have spent the majority of their careers playing in the BBL.”
“Having players from the local communities we work with across the entire country is very important to us.”
For more information on the British Basketball League, go to www.bbl.org.uk.
Story – BBL
Sharks Photo – MPhotography
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