Storm add Alexis Lewis to Coaching Staff

Storm Basketball Club and HTS Storm Basketball Academy are pleased to announce an exciting new addition to our coaching staff, with Alexis Lewis making the move to join the programme. Coach Lewis brings with him a vast level of expertise and knowledge to continue to add to the high level coaching delivery at Storm.

Speaking about joining the programme, Alexis said, “I’m extremely proud to be coaching with an established and successful programme like Sussex Storm and excited for the coming seasons. Working with this outstanding club – their coaches, players, and supporters – is an opportunity I had to take and I cannot wait to be part of our continued growth and future successes.”

Lewis makes the move to Storm after eight years coaching in the capital with the Greenhouse Sports programme and London Greenhouse Pioneers. During his time with Greenhouse, Coach Lewis has enjoyed countless successes at both a regional and national level – across school and club competitions. His resume of achievements is highlighted by an NBL Playoff Championship for the Pioneers Under 14 Boys in 2016 and a Dynamik National Schools finals appearance for Saint Gabriel’s College Under 15 Boys in the same year.

Storm are incredibly lucky to have secured the services of a coach with such pedigree, with regional and national experiences to draw upon. A stint with the London Regional Performance Centre saw Coach Lewis led the London Under 15 Girls to a 2nd place finish at the 2015 Regional Development Tournament; garnering the attention of the national coaching instructors. Success with the London Region saw Alexis selected to the coaching staff of the England Under 15 Girls National Development Programme, a position he has held since 2016 – and holds to this day in the newly rebranded England Talent Programme.

Alexis will be making the move to Sussex to take up a post at Holy Trinity School in Learning Support, meaning the players at HTS Storm Basketball Academy will have another high level coach to call on within the school programme. The role will allow Coach Lewis to assist with the HTS Storm 1st Team in the ABL, alongside Academy Head Coach Daniel Hildreth.

“The club is always trying to improve on all levels; not just the development of players but adding and increasing the level of coaches is vital to continue with our progression,” said Coach Hildreth. “It sends out a strong message that we are able to acquire coaches of such caliber to the programme. Alexis will be working with our younger players to instil the values and initial development that they need for a successful future. This is another huge step in the right direction for our club and we are delighted he is here.”

As part of his Learning Support role, Coach Lewis will as act as a mentor to our young student-athletes – supporting them to perform their best on and off the court. Already active within the National League programme, Alexis has been made Head Coach of the Under 14 Boys Conference team for 2019/20; working alongside Foundation coach Freddie Winton. Coach Lewis will also be taking an active role in the Local League programme by coaching in the newly launched Crawley Basketball League; while Storm Basketball Foundation will be calling on his services to continue add to the clubs on offer.

HTS & Train to Perform Partner for 19/20 Season

Holy Trinity School Basketball Academy is going from strength to strength, quite literally!

In September 2019, the HTS basketball programme will welcome Train to Perform – who will be conducting the strength & conditioning programmes for our academy students. Having previously worked with Surrey Scorchers in the BBL and leading on the physical profiling & fitness testing for Deng Camp UK, Train to Perform joins the programme with a pedigree in game to match the vision of high calibre delivery at HTS. 

Head Coach Daniel Hildreth said, “The support we get from the Senior Leadership Team at the school is second to none. They have the same vision as us: to create the best opportunities for our students and, in doing so, aiming to bring in the best support to do just that.” 

With the introduction of National Team coach Barney Blake this year, the ever increasing staff list just goes to show the quality and aspirations of the programme. 

Coach Hildreth continued, “We genuinely feel that we have created a programme that has the potential to compete with the elite academies up and down the country. We have a club that runs from u8 all the way up to u19 academy basketball, which means we are able to develop home grown players and give them the opportunity to play at the highest level here in Sussex. We have been successful doing this over the years, but we are always looking to improve. Bringing Train to Perform on board is a huge step for our programme, for both the school and the club, and I’m delighted that we’ll have them working with our students from September.”

Train to Perform is lead by Liam Mitchell, who has just returned from Tokyo with the Great Britain Sailing team as they prepare for their Olympic campaign next year. Liam has also spent time with the prestigious English Institute of Sport, before working with the RFU supporting the England Rugby 7s program. The ex-BBL basketball player comes with a wealth of knowledge not only in the strength & conditioning industry, but also the specific requirements of elite level basketball. Investing in new state of the art equipment will assist with this process.

Liam said, “I’m really excited to be working alongside Holy Trinity School and Storm Basketball Club. These guys have already put a fantastic programme in place for the players, and having the opportunity to be involved in this is something I know will have an even bigger impact to their success.” 

“I was born and raised in Sussex,” Liam added, “so I am really proud to be part of one of the best junior programmes in the country and will do what I can to keep supporting players from Sussex to compete at the highest level.”​

Coaching Announcements

With Storm Basketball Club growing so quickly, we’ve been fortunate enough to secure 6 new coaches for the upcoming season. Ian Berry, Michael Kwentoh, Freddie Winton, Denny Burling, Keanu Kellett & Mark Chiang will all be joining our coaching ranks, further growing and developing our workforce across the Local League, National League and Foundation programmes.

Ian & Michael will be joining our Sussex Storm National League programme and come with a wealth of experience coaching at various levels across London. Having played NBL Division One last year for Hemel Storm, Ian is a product of Sussex basketball, having played for the programme when it was known as Brighton Bears, before moving to London & working with Greenhouse Sports. Michael runs Chiswick Gators, a successful local league programme operating in West London. He also has a wealth of National League coaching experience having previously helped NASSA to a Final Four appearance in 2013, while more recently working with Richmond Knights. In addition, Michael is a nationally respected referee who has officiated at the highest levels of National League.

Denny, Keanu & Freddie are Crawley basketball alumni, having come through the Local League, National League and Academy systems themselves, and they are now coming back to the club to give back to invest in the future. All are currently involved in the Summer Term of Battle of the Borough (BotB), and moving forwards the trio will be heavily involved in the Crawley Storm Local League programme, while Freddie will also be working for the Storm Basketball Foundation within schools in the area.

Mark has also been involved in the Summer Term of BotB as one of our new and developing coaches, with a background playing as a junior in Eastbourne.

National League Head Coach, Daniel Hildreth said: “This is great for our club, to not only increase the number of coaches in our programme, but also the quality that we can offer our kids. It is really encouraging that a number of the coaches are returning to give back to a club they once played for. We anticipate more coaching development opportunities coming soon.”

Blake Joins HTS

Barney Blake will be joining The Holy Trinity School’s Basketball Academy in January 2019.

Barney originally hails from Stafford, but has been based in Manchester for the past 18 months working for Basketball England – starting out in their Customer Service team, before moving to their Marketing team. Most recently Barney has been heavily involved in the Manchester Magic & Mystics programmes, being named Assistant Coach/Performance Analyst with the NBL Division One team, whilst also being named an Assistant Coach of the U18 and U16 Premier Girls teams. Blake is also the Head Coach of the North West Girls Aspire programme, having recently led the North West U13 Girls to a second-place finish at the 2018 Regional Development Tournament. 

In his time in the North West, Blake has also had stints with Myerscough College’s NBL & WEABL squads alongside the Lancashire Spinners WNBL Division One team, having been heavily involved in the Cardiff Met Archers programme whilst at University. In his role as a National Team Performance Analyst, Barney has worked with the England U16 Girls in 2016, GB U18 Women in 2017, England U18 Men in 2018 and with the England Senior Men’s squad in the run-up to, and throughout, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The role will predominantly consist of working with the students at the school in the ever improving programme. In line with this there will be a strong involvement with the club and the recently formed Foundation, working in the community and in the surrounding schools.​

Daniel Hildreth said, “This is a big statement from the school in hiring a 3rd coach. It shows the true dedication and commitment towards improving the programme. Barney was a natural selection, his attention to detail, passion for the game and instant rapport with the students made the decision very easy. We feel we have created very solid foundations within the school and club but understand it is vital that we continue to bring in new blood  to help the programme grow.​”

Barney said, “I am honoured to have been offered this new opportunity with The Holy Trinity School and Storm Basketball Club, and cannot wait to get going! This will be a big change for me, but it is one that I am very excited about.”

Karl Youngman added, “I’m really excited about Barney joining the school/club and bringing a wealth of experience. His passion for growth and an all encompassing programme alines with ours. I think he’s going to help push forward basketball as whole, in Crawley & Sussex”.

Storm Basketball Foundation Launches

The Storm Basketball Foundation will be our new community programme focused on growing participation from a younger age, in Crawley and the surrounding areas. 

The Foundation will deliver after-school clubs to the majority of the secondary schools in Crawley and will run a number of Breakfast clubs, curriculum time session, lunchtime clubs & after-school sessions at the local primary schools. 

Karl Youngman will take lead on the Foundation assisted by Jordan Richards, and will be delivering regular holiday camps, primary & secondary schools leagues/tournaments, community sessions & the ‘Battle of the Borough’; a new mini-basketball league aimed at 7-9-year-olds, putting the neighbourhoods of Crawley against each-other. 

“This is something that I’ve wanted to have running in Crawley for a long time, even back to the early days of Crawley Cagers. I’ve seen the massive impact that South Coast Elite has had on players in Brighton, and it’s inspired me, even more, to get something running here. I’ve got a lot of respect for Tom Ward, he’s done an amazing job with SCE. Tom’s given me a lot of guidance about how to run the foundation as effectively as possible,” said Karl. ​

He continued, “I’m glad to have Jordan onboard, and I think together we can make a real difference in the area. The ultimate goal is to get all schools regularly playing basketball, from as young as possible. The area has proved to be a hotspot for talent in the last 10 years, and we have only just scratched the surface. I’m excited to see what we can do next.”

Jordan said; “After working with a mix of players in Crawley last year, I’m incredibly excited to get started with the Foundation. The players from Crawley are incredibly hard working and bring a unique attitude to the sport. Last year I worked for SCE running schools sessions and being involved in camps, and I can’t wait to bring that experience into the Crawley area.”

Hildreth Joins HTS

​The Holy Trinity School, rich in basketball history and numerous National titles, has made a huge step in the continuing development of the already outstanding programme. Over a number of years basketball has had a huge impact on the school, its students and the effect it has in the community.

With the programme developing each year it was essential to build in terms of contact time with the pupils and the quality of the programme. The school is delighted to announce the recent appointment of ex-professional and National League coach Daniel Hildreth to play an integral part of the process moving forward. 

Hildreth played many years as a professional in the UK’s top flight league alongside playing and coaching Senior National League Division One where he won many awards. Having represented England Universities, played in a BBL All-Star game and won many National titles as a player,  Daniel has recently won his 2nd Junior National Championship as a coach. Currently National League Head Coach of Sussex Storm Basketball Club, Daniel leads the U16 Premier team alongside mentoring the other coaches within the club. 

With his wealth of experience and success at both senior and junior level, and now a priority of Sixth Form involvement, the hope is to continue bringing in the very best players in the county to study alongside a fantastic basketball programme.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Hildreth, “I’ve been speaking with Karl about this for nearly 2 years now, about how we can incorporate our very successful National League programme with an educational institution.”

“What is and has always been vital to me is player development for both boys and girls, providing opportunity through a natural pathway from primary school, through to National senior basketball. The school is so supportive of the programme as it appreciates the massive benefits it has on its students. I’m just ready to get started now and see what the future brings.”

The combination of of Hildreth & Youngman now ensures that all students at Holy Trinity School will be receiving top class coaching everyday. Entering both boys and girls teams at all age groups is something that very few other schools do in the whole country, and with the addition of another top level coach – that is exactly what Trinity are now able to do.

It is an exciting time for all involved and the man behind it all, Karl Youngman, had this to say, “It feels like when LeBron joined D-Wade in Miami. This is a massive step forward for the programme, and means we can offer a lot more to all of the students. We will be looking to start a girls programme from the get go and I’m really excited to see what we can do together.”

Hildreth has already been working with some of the students as the school programme now really gets underway!