MAHONEY RECEIVES ENGLAND CALL-UP
In a proud day for Teesside basketball 13 year old Oscar Mahoney has been selected for England camp with the potential to represent his country at an exciting calendar of upcoming events.
The players are identified by Steve Bucknall, who is Head of Talent & Performance for Basketball England.
Oscar has been a stand-out player for the Teesside Lions u14 squad this season, leading the team to an unbeaten record in the North Conference and helping the team win the league title. His performances have been incredible with a 35 points per game average. He also led in assists, steals and game MVPs.
His performances have earned regular call ups for the Lions U16 team and even suited up for the Men’s Team where he joined U16 player Ben Grimes and U18’s Charlie McKenna against Durham University in a thrilling game at Eston Arena.
Teesside Lions James Thomson has coached Oscar for nearly four years and has hailed the international call up as: “a proud day for Oscar, his family, our club and myself.”
“Oscar is a talented athlete. He is a smooth performer that possesses a wealth of skills and abilities. More impressively he understands the game with a maturity far beyond his years. This element is difficult to teach.
“Finally the most impressive attribute is his character. He is a fantastically well-grounded human being that has worked hard to achieve what he has done so far. He has a bright future in basketball, and life in general, and I am extremely proud to be part of his journey.
“The honour of him representing the Teesside Lions within the England camp will reverberate around the club, Teesside, the Northeast of England and hopefully soon the country itself.” said James.
Oscar from Acklam and a pupil at Trinity Catholic College in Middlesbrough was thrilled to be selected, stating: “When I was told I had been selected for England camp I was thrilled. It is an honour to represent the area and Teesside Lions. It would be one of my proudest moments to represent my country.
“In the near future I am hoping to be selected in the upcoming trials and would look forward to playing for England across the different competitions.”
Camp Selection is on 3-5th April in Manchester where he will join the rest of the England U14 Talent Pathway Squad and if successful could be picked to play at the Globasket Tournament in Barcelona on 10th April followed by The Four Nations Tournament in Dundee on 26th May & Serbia International Camp/Tournament on 1st June.
Just short of a year ago Oscar was selected for the U13 North Aspire All Star team. He and Maya Dabrowska, who played for u15 girls team both represented the club and played key roles in the North winning their respective championships.
This year Oscar and team-mate Charlie Bryson have both been selected for the Super Region Camps and will be competing for the North team selection at this year’s event.
The trend of player development within the Teesside Lions is impressive and feeding through talented players each and every year.
“I owe a lot to Teesside Lions. It has shaped me into the player I am and I enjoy the positive environment and community feel within the club. We are a big family, I have made a lot of friends, and everyone supports one another. We have very good players within the club and even more developing below my age.
“It’s exciting to be playing for the club. I also enjoy watching the men’s games at Eston Arena. It was a special moment when James asked me to play for the men’s team this season.”
Oscar has long term ambitions of playing professional basketball in Europe and is grateful not only for his parents support but also that of Coach Thomson, adding:
“James has been coaching me since I started playing basketball. He has always believed in me and encouraged me. I like the discipline and sessions we have. We do a lot of skills work and the training is always well attended and competitive.
“James has built a good structure for basketball at the club and I feel like there is a good pathway for players to succeed at the highest level. James gives not just me but all the players lots of opportunities and support. I also feel like I am just getting started so am already excited about the Summer and next season.”
Teesside Lions provide many training sessions for all abilities and ages across Teesside. They also have competitive opportunities for players with their Tribal League CVL, regional teams and their elite national league programme. The club also have a basketball academy in partnership with Bede College and run the basketball programme at Teesside University to provide a full and integrated pathway for aspiring elite athletes.