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.

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.”

Everyone Active Partnership

We are pleased to announce that we have a new partnership with Everyone Active that will see basketball coming back to K2 Crawley, one of the town’s and Sussex’s premier venue! The new partnership means that K2 Crawley will be used for Storm’s mid-week training sessions and games. More information to follow.

Karl Youngman said: “I’m really excited to get back into K2 Crawley. As Crawley Cagers we had some games there when it first opened, but we’ve never had anything permanent. It’s the best venue around and central for everyone in Crawley. Having recently hosted a Battle of the Borough event and our National League trials there already, it’s given us a taste of how great this partnership will be. Huge thank you to Dave Downey, Sports Development Manager for Everyone Active at K2 Crawley for his help making this happen!”

Dave said: “We are really proud and excited to be hosting basketball at K2 Crawley. Our aim is to encourage people to be active more often, whilst also developing talent pathways from grass roots through to elite athletes, and this partnership with Storm will deliver this perfectly.”

Storm Launch New Girls Programme

Storm Basketball Club have decided to launch a U14 and below Girls National League Programme for the 2018/19 season. 

For the past 2 years we have had a link with Sevenoaks Suns which has allowed the female players in the area to access National League training & games. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Len Busch & his team for their support. We do not intend to tarnish the relationship that we have developed over the last 2 seasons, and will still continue to push our more talented/older players in their direction.

​This new programme is designed to be an avenue for all of the other girls playing basketball in the area. They will now have the opportunity to train/play at a higher level against their own gender, without the costs/transport issues raised through traveling to other programmes. This is a natural progression for the clubs local league girls programme, and it is important to us that we bring what we offer girls, in line with what we offer boys. 

​We started a girls local league programme 2 seasons ago and since then have produced over 40 female players in Crawley alone. This is still going to continue as ‘Crawley Storm’, but we will also run a ‘Sussex Storm’ girls team at each age group alongside this. Sussex Storm will be open for all female players in Sussex as we attempt to offer them a strong pathway into National League, something that has been missing in previous years. 

“I’m really excited about this next step,” said Karl Youngman. “We have over 230 boys playing basketball in Crawley, supported by our local league & national league programmes. It’s now time to match this number of players with the girls, and this is something that I will be heavily involved in the coming years.”

Daniel Hildreth said, “We are constantly looking at ways to improve our programme and provide opportunities for youngsters in Sussex. Over the past 12 months we have seen a massive influx of females in the area taking up the sport. It’s a natural progression for us to include girls basketball, it’s always been our intention and now the time is right.”

Sussex Storm will have U14, U13 & U11 age groups for the coming season. Trial dates will be announced alongside the boys in the coming weeks. Until then, make sure you come along to our girls open run session on Fridays , 6pm-7:15pm, £4 @ St. Wilfrid’s School.

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!

Kit Sponsor: Black Dogs Consulting and Kusasa Mind

Storm Basketball Club would like to say a massive thank you to Black Dogs Consulting & Kusasa Mind (BDKM) for their sponsorship of our National League away kits. We will take pride in wearing your logo this season.

BDKM Press Release:

At BDKM we are passionate about helping organisations grow, coaching leaders and their teams to enable them to achieve their ambitions.

The opportunity to get involved with Sussex Storm Basketball was a perfect chance to help support an organisation who share our philosophy of coaching excellence. Using their coaching skills, they encourage and challenge young basketball players to achieve high standards in everything they do. We look forward to seeing Storm grow and continue their fine development of junior and senior players. The environment the basketball club is creating, provides a strong sense of community and their team spirit is a shining light for sports development.

Black Dogs Consulting and Kusasa Mind (BDKM) specialise in Leadership Development and Organisation Effectiveness, helping organisations to continuously improve performance. We have found that the ability to understand what is happening at the heart of an organisation, provides insights into what will be the most effective way to change performance. We have developed an extensive range of leadership tools which come with practical advice. These resources are designed to challenge thinking and support leaders and their teams in finding the right solutions for their business.  

To find out more visit us at BDKM.co.uk, follow us on Twitter @KusasaMind or email sue@kusasamind.com