Vince’s role and contribution to the London Lions has proven to be nothing short of legendary. A life-long, celebrated champion of British basketball and the community that supports it, boasting a raft of career milestones that have redefined the history of the sport in the UK, and will continue to impact its evolution for decades to come.
From serving as the first British coach since Nick Nurse in 2002 to lead a win in a European competition, to being the only British Coach to advance the team in a European tournament to its current position; Vince’s iconoclastic career has reformed how UK basketball is played and perceived by those on and off the court, both home and away.
Vince Macaulay said:
“All good things come to an end, I am happy to leave the club in the position it is in, off the floor in safe hands with our current ownership and on the floor to be undefeated at home in European Competition and in a great position to win the three remaining domestic Trophies. The player pathway we have in place will surely be a hotbed for the growth of the next British Stars. I wish everyone at the club nothing but the best in the future – for me I will take time off for now, but for sure, the ball will keep on bouncing.
The London Lions will always remain avid supporters of Vince as he pursues his future endeavours, we wish to express our utmost gratitude for his history defining contribution to the club, and the sport.
Last night marked yet another historic moment in British Basketball, with the London Lions winning their fourth game in a row in the FIBA Europe Cup, becoming the first British team to do so. Completed with a dominant 85 – 67 win against Dutch team Donar Groningen, the Lions have continued breaking records with yet another victory in front of another huge home crowd turnout. The result leaves the Lions top of their group with just two games remaining.
The third quarter saw tensions rise, with Donar Groningen’s dominant start bringing the score to 46 a piece. However, Isaiah Reese and Marquis Tague helped lead the Lions to victory, scoring the most points against the former Champion’s League team from Groningen in the North of Netherlands. Jordan Williams and Dirk Williams also played critical roles in the dominant victory.
Following the addition of a number of exciting ex-NBA talents, the Lions are looking to start the British Basketball League (BBL) this Friday on a winning streak, when they play against Cheshire Phoenix.
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Their success marks an exciting road ahead for basketball in the UK, and with the British Basketball League (BBL) about to begin, team captain Jordan Spencer – currently in his fourth season with the team – looks to lead the team into national and continental success for the first time in British basketball history.
Head coach Vince Macaulay comments on the London Lions record-breaking win:
“The Dutch team put on a great performance, but we really pulled together as a team tonight. The guys really put in a brilliant performance on both ends of the court, with some great shooting and shutdown defence when we needed it, which is really testament to the talent that we have in the squad. Four back-to-back wins in Europe are unheard of in British basketball and we are immensely proud to be blazing a trail for other British teams in future. We are excited for the BBL to begin on Friday, where I’m certain that our team will continue to play with dominance”
Vince, head coach of the London Lions, and the team’s players are also keen to discuss the following:
- The Lions’ ambitions for the 2021-22 season
- Why providing an environment of inclusion at games is a key part of the Lions plans for fans
- The importance of providing young people with strong role models to look up to in UK professional sports
Image courtesy of London Lions
The growing appeal of British basketball as a pre and post NBA destination
Could the BBL be the new top European basketball destination for players around the globe?
Vince Macaulay, Head Coach of the London Lions, speaks on the teams long term plans and the growing appeal of the league.
Over the course of the decade, the British Basketball League has seen a flow of overseas players and NBA veterans bringing their talents to the league, showcasing exceptional levels of basketball and making a tremendous impact on the game here in the UK.
The NBA itself is a hundred billion dollar sports industry, with television deals worldwide, yet more and more players are now seeing the appeal of playing abroad. With a significant amount of investment towards the league and a plethora of talent choosing to showcase their ability here in the UK, could the BBL be the new desired European basketball destination for players around the globe?
12-year NBA veteran guard, DeAndre Liggins, is a prime example of a player who has really made his mark on the BBL. Since signing with the London Lion’s as a free agent back in July last year, Liggins has hit the ground running, playing a key role in the Lion’s dominant season and leading the league in BBL All-Star Five appearances with six.
Many NBA journeymen, such as Liggins, choose to play in the BBL due to the opportunities the league provides, such as more minutes each game and a greater role within a team. But, more and more so we are seeing an influx of collegiate players taking their talents to the European leagues, rather than the traditional college route, as a pre-NBA destination to bolster their draft stock.
In the recent NBA draft, three of the top ten draft picks were selected from foreign leagues, highlighting the growing appeal of playing abroad for both young players and experienced veterans. This is a true testament to the league and the future of British basketball which through investment, national media coverage and a growing roster of talent is set to compete on a global scale and be revived as one of the top European destinations for basketball.
Vince Macaulay, Head Coach of the London Lions:
“Our longer term plans of what we want the London Lions to be in the future; we want the Lions to play at the highest level of European basketball and be a place for top talent to come a play as a step into or down from the NBA.
“If you look at the drafts over the past ten years, and at the players who didn’t make the top 20 or 30 picks, how much worse are they than the players drafted in the first round? These players’ talents are almost wasted, as they simply don’t get enough minutes on the court to really showcase their game, so could they be better off playing abroad?
“These are the types of players that would be a great addition to the league and playing here would give them the experience needed to go onto play at the top level. The BBL provides a great level of basketball where players can work on their game and the skills required to compete in the NBA, for when they do finally make that transition.”
London Lions have moved to add a second American to their roster in the shape of 6’6* forward Buay Tuach.
The Lions have been looking to fill the spot vacated by Allen-Jordan and waited until they got the right fit.
Tuach is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University where he averaged just under 12 points a game whilst shooting 40% from the three point line. The forward has also had spells with the Westchester Knicks in the NBA G-League before a leg injury sidelined him. Fully fit he played 13 games in the past season there.
Lions boss Vince Macaulay commented, “Buay is a really explosive player, a great defender and a superb athlete, we need that finisher that we have missed since Ladarius Tabb moved on. I think he can fit that bill whilst bringing some toughness to what we do”.
Lions expect at least another addition to the club in the coming days.
The Lions are in League action this coming weekend with a trip to Plymouth Raiders today and then returning home to the Copper Box on Sunday the 12th of January to place London City Royals. Tickets are available online at www.thelondonlions.com.
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