Competitive basketball will finally return to Oaklands College on Saturday evening, and the new L Lynch Trophy will see the debut of the Oaklands Wolves Men’s Division One team as they face Thames Valley Cavaliers.
The competition was created by the NBL top flight clubs as a way of easing competitive basketball back in what seems an endless seven months without games, and the teams are divided into four groups of four. Government restrictions have meant that no fans are allowed to attend the games, and all of the six match-ups in group 2 will take place in a secure bubble at Oaklands. However, there is still the chance to watch the new Wolves in action as the game is being livestreamed – with further details to follow.
Head coach Thomas Baker admits he can’t wait to get his team back on the floor: “Firstly it is great that basketball is back!” he said. “I would be lying if I thought we would get to this point but it is exciting to be stepping out on the court with my new team.
“The Trophy presents us with an opportunity to host the regional games which is an excellent chance to showcase the amazing facilities we have here at Oaklands. Yes there will be some new procedures to get used to but it will be good to see basketball being played again.”
With games against Hemel Storm and Reading Rockets to follow, Wolves’ top flight debut is about as tough as it could have been, but Baker is excited about the challenge: “For us as a team, I am looking forward to seeing my guys compete against three of the most talented teams in the division in Reading, Hemel and Thames Valley. It will be a great early test of us, something myself and the guys are excited about.”
Wolves’ predecessors found Cavs to be something of a bogey team in the past, losing all eight of their games against the Uxbridge-based side, and Robert Banks’ team finished second in last season’s aborted Division One.
Saturday’s game tips off at 5.45pm and is preceded by Hemel Storm versus Reading Rockets at 2.45pm – streaming details of both games will follow.