North East students are celebrating as their basketball coach has netted a top spot coaching the country's young talent.
Ian Macleod, coach at Gateshead College and Newcastle Eagles, has been appointed as assistant coach for the Great Britain U18s squad.
The 33 year-old from Walkergate in Newcastle was offered the position after coaching national league basketball for more than 10 years with the Newcastle Eagles School of Excellence, and professionally for the last four with the Eagles BBL team.
Ian has lead Gateshead College to success in Basketball England’s, Academy Basketball League, where they were named conference champions and were runners up nationally.
Ian has an extensive career in coaching basketball. He was assistant coach of the Newcastle Eagles team throughout the quadruple winning British Basketball League Championship season (2014/15) and also won an international team gold medal with the England u15 team in the 2016 Copenhagen Invitational tournament, to add to their bronze in 2014. He is a Basketball England Level 3 advanced coach and works with the England under 18’s as assistant coach.
Ian said: “There is a huge amount of young talented athletes in this country, it is now time to convert that raw potential into consistent success on the international stage.
"I am delighted to be given the opportunity to represent Great Britain, and to have the chance to work with a talented group of players and coaches. I look forward to contributing to the on-court success in any way I can in the European Championships."
Ian will continue to develop the skill and talent of the Basketball Academy at Gateshead College's Academy for Sport where he has been Head Coach for eight years. He will also continue his role as mentoring and performance Officer and assistant coach of the Newcastle Eagles BBL team.
Liam Gumbrill, Sports Academy Lead at Gateshead College, said: "We're all extremely proud of Ian and this is a fantastic achievement for him.
"It's also very good news for our students as it further cements our commitment to provide a high-level performance environment, partnering with the most prestigious professional team in the country.”
In his role with Great Britain, Ian will be involved in FIBA u18 European Championships, which will be held in July in Estonia.
British Basketball Chief Executive, Lisa Wainwright, commented “We are delighted to name such strong coaching and management teams to all of the GB National Youth Squads. Using the experience and talent within the Home Countries, we’ve been able to appoint high quality coaches and excellent team support personnel to all squads. Flying the flag for GB for the first time for the younger age groups adds a new dimension for the coaches, management and players.
Gateshead College's Basketball Academy players receive up to nine hours performance coaching each week, competitive matches in British Colleges and Basketball England competitions, as well as specialist strength and conditioning support. The students train at the Academy for Sport at Gateshead International Stadium and Gateshead Leisure Centre.