The University of Chester Men’s Basketball Club and the Alumni Association welcomed students past and present at the Parkgate Road Campus on 12th May 2018 to take part in the annual Men’s Basketball Alumni Cup.
15 alumni returned to the University to take on a team of current students from the BUCS Men’s First and Second teams to try to prove they still had “it”.
On the back of a season where the BUCS first team were crowned BUCS League and Cup Champions, it looked certain that the team of current students would continue the trend and come out victorious against the Alumni. But this year, with the introduction of the Alumni Games Cup, the Alumni brought a strong team including University of Chester Sports Hall of Famer, Phil Brandreth, who earned entry to the HoF when he represented the England Universities Basketball Team.
With the two teams looking strong during the warm-up, it soon became clear that no team would be running away with the game this time.
The game started in quick fashion, with the two teams trading baskets. The score remained close throughout, with both teams rotating the players on court to try and gain an advantage. In the end, the Alumni came out on top with a narrow victory and winning the inaugural Alumni Games Cup.
After the game, the current students and alumni gathered at the Chester Students’ Union for the presentation of the Alumni Cup and a social event where we were delighted to welcome back Malcolm Wragg, the founder of the Men’s Basketball Club, as Guest Speaker.
Malcolm, had sponsored the team with a match ball during the 2017/18 season, was a member of the 1959 class, setup and coached the Men’s Basketball team back in 1959. He went on to have an extremely successful career in coaching basketball and developing basketball in the Halifax region. He even established the original Calderdale Explorers Basketball Club who played in the top flight of English Basketball. Unfortunately, after many successful years they folded, until recently when they were reborn in the lower levels of Basketball England National League and, in a quirk of fate, will face our National League team in Division 3 this season.
The Men’s Basketball Club would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Alumni Association for sponsoring us throughout the 2017-18 season. Not only did the sponsorship enable us to host a brilliant Alumni Games, it assisted massively in the running of our National League team which is made up of current students and alumni and improved the resources available to the current BUCS First team, which undoubtedly contributed to their double BUCS winning season. The sponsorship meant we were able to purchase new team kit, match balls, training equipment, and hire of external facilities when our facilities were unavailable for training sessions or games.
It has also helped to promote our club and improve the opportunities for our members through the provision of specialist video recording equipment which is used to record and stream live games, which not only enables the Coaches to analyse match performances, the film can be used to create highlight videos from games to promote the basketball programme and for individuals to showcase their skill to prospective professional teams in the hope of securing a professional contract to play basketball – check out Connor Murtagh’s story.
Find out more about the Alumni Association here.