Gloucester now boasts two new professional basketball teams, whose sights are firmly set on playing at the top level of English basketball.
Gloucester Sport, whose new CEO is a former professional basketball player and ex-head coach of Plymouth Raiders, Jay Marriott, launched two new Gloucester City men’s and women’s basketball team today, Thursday.
The newly formed teams – the Gloucester City Kings and Gloucester City Queens are looking to play at the highest level of basketball in the country.
Gloucester Sport will host basketball matches at the 1,500 capacity Oxstalls Sports Park Arena after agreeing a deal with the University of Gloucestershire and the Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust, giving local people more opportunities to watch top-level sport.
The brand for the new teams has been developed with 5or6 Creative, a specialist sport branding company who also work with one of the most successful franchises in British Basketball League (BBL) history – the Leicester Riders. It incorporates the history of the city, featuring the four-centred arch of Gloucester Cathedral and the ‘strawberry leaf crown’ seen on the tomb of King Edward II, which is located in the Cathedral. This proud heritage has been merged into a modern design with basketball seams featuring in the background.
Jay Marriott said: “It’s great to finally share with the public a brand we have worked hard to bring to life. We’re excited to be talking to a range of partners to deliver this exciting new venture. I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to this project and creating something special for the fans and community to enjoy.”
As well as providing the local community with fantastic sporting action to watch, the aim is that the new franchise will help ensure that, in the future, talented young basketball players within the county and beyond benefit from clear progression routes, and will aspire to play at the highest level. The franchise also hopes to offer new exciting overseas opportunities for international students as part of a scholarship programme.
Gloucester City AFC co-chairman, Alex Petheram, who is the joint owner of Gloucester Sport has been the driving force behind this new venture, added: “We are delighted to be able to announce our first new venture under the Gloucester Sport brand. Having been involved with basketball in the past, it was my number one priority to see professional basketball come to the city of Gloucester. It’s a real family-friendly sport that will hopefully build bridges within the city across all sports, ages, and people.”