Eagles swoop in for college masterclass

The Williams brothers (back, centre) with students 


Stars of the most successful club in British basketball history gave a sporting masterclass at a North East college.

Newcastle Eagles’ player-coach Fab Flournoy, along with forwards Jamal and Kai Williams, visited Gateshead College to discuss all things basketball with students from various schools from across Tyne and Wear.

New York-born Flournoy tipped off the session with a talk about his glittering career and gave some top tips to budding basketball enthusiasts on how to make it in the game. The Williams brothers then held a high-energy skills session where students showcased their ball-playing talents and improved their fitness.

Newcastle is the most successful club in British basketball history, winning a haul of 24 trophies since 1995. All of those have come under the stewardship of Fab Flournoy, who is widely regarded as the most successful basketball player-coach of all time.

The Eagles host regular masterclasses at Gateshead College’s basketball academy, which offers students the chance to hone their sporting talents while studying for a nationally recognised qualification. They can study a full-time school-leaver programme in sport or any other subject, including A Levels, and become a member of the basketball academy while developing the knowledge and expertise they need to start an apprenticeship, go to university or get a job.

Chris Toon, deputy principal at Gateshead College, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Fab, Jamal and Kai for spending time with the students and passing on their vast knowledge of the game. Gateshead College Academy for Sport works with several high-class sports organisations to give young people – both students at the college and schoolchildren – the opportunity to supplement their academic qualifications with the experience of working with and learning from top coaches.” 

Based at Gateshead International Stadium, the Academy for Sport is home to nine specialist academies in basketball, men’s and women’s football, athletics, boxing, cricket, golf, netball and rugby.