The new-look Oaklands Wolves senior men make their Division One debut on Saturday evening when they host Nottingham Hoods.
Unfortunately due to current restrictions the game will be behind closed doors, which is a disappointment for everyone at the club as we move into a new era. But Coach Thomas Baker is excited to be back on the floor in Division One action: "The L Lynch trophy provided a great return to basketball and I am looking forward to starting the league campaign this weekend against Hoods" he said. "It's seems fitting that they are our first opponents seeing as our last league game as Leopards was against Hoods also. The guys are raring to go and I am excited to step on the floor with them once again."
As Baker says, Hoods were the final opposition for Wolves' predecessors Leopards before basketball closed down, and the Big Cats certainly ended in style with eight players finishing in double figures and Baker's team scoring 21 of their 37 three-point attempts on the way to a 127-95 victory.
That game proved to be the final one for coach Ryan Westley - a former Leopards' junior - and he has been replaced by Ben Stanley, and they won their only L Lynch game of the pre-season with a 92-88 victory at Leicester Warriors, Laurits Juffer leading the way with a 19 point, 13 rebound double-double.
American guard Jordan Santiago is the only member of the Wolves roster that is not a current member of Oaklands Academy or a former Oaklands/Leopards player, and after joining from Division One rivals Loughborough in the summer he is looking forward to making his league debut for his new club: “I’m excited for this weekends game" he said. "We have been battle tested during the L Lynch Trophy and I believe we are in a good place mentally. "I am convinced that if we show up ready to play 40 minutes of our brand of basketball, the results will be in our favour. With that being said, the team and I are really just grateful to be able to lace up the kicks another day. Go Wolves!!“