Themba Gets His Wings

A Gateshead College student is soaring high with the Newcastle Eagles after being called up to their senior squad.

Themba Yabantu  has completed a Level 3 BTEC in Sport and is currently studying a Level 2 in Health and Fitness at the Academy of Sport. He has been playing for the Academy’s Basketball Team as well as the Eagles School of Excellence under-23 side in Division 4 of the National Basketball League.

Throughout the season he has shown his true potential, regularly finishing games as the top scorer and this ability has also been recognised by Newcastle Eagles senior Head Coach Fab Flournoy who invited Yabantu to train with his senior players this season.

“Themba has practised with us consistently since the beginning of the season and earned the chance to be part of our senior match night squad.”

Themba is delighted with his call up to the senior squad:

“I never thought I would get this opportunity but I am very excited and very grateful about stepping up to the British Basketball League. This is a big step up and shows that the hard work I have been putting in is paying off. I still have a lot more to learn and improve and this is a great chance to make even bigger strides.”

Yabantu who will wear the no. 2 shirt joins the senior bench as The Eagles look to take a 3 – 0 league series sweep over fellow Esh Group sponsored rivals, Leeds Force at Northumbria University Sport Central.

Ian Macleod is Assistant Coach with Newcastle Eagles and also Gateshead College’s Basketball Academy Coach said: “Themba is really talented player and it’s fantastic to hear that all of his hard work and determination has paid off. He’s been a real asset to any squad he’s played for and I’m confident he’ll make his mark of The Eagles senior team.”

In April, Themba will also be representing the North East region as part of the Gateshead College squad competing in the Association of Colleges Sport National Championships in Nottingham.

For anyone interested in joining Gateshead College’s Basketball Academy, Fab Flournoy will be delivering a masterclass at the Academy for Sport on Tuesday 10th April between 10am – 12pm.