Photo courtesy of Rakshana Gopinath and Inquire photography.
After not being able to compete in Varsity last year due to complaints surrounding their general misbehaviour, Men’s Basketball are finishing the event this year after having a highly successful season.
Kent Union’s decision to ban Men’s Basketball from Varsity 2019 was due to violence, such as ‘a headbutt and throat push’, complaints from many staff members and general bad conduct. This year, it seems that the team are starting afresh, having won a huge majority of their BUCS matches. Not only are they back in Varsity, but they also have the prime spot as they are the last fixture to compete in Varsity.
“This year has been a massive change,”, the Vice-President Alfie Murray tells InQuire when asked about the transformation from last year. He continued:
“The discipline and ethos of the team has improved tenfold, and the talent has been both improved with the players we have and added to by freshers. The impact results in a much more positive attitude toward winning games and people are enjoying being part of the team more”.
Those who have watched men's Basketball Varsity matches in the past will know that it is a typical a high tension and close game. With Varsity so close, The Vice continues comment on the upcoming match:
“it’s a friendly competition with CCCU, we know some of them and it can get fierce and rough, but it’s all love after the game is over. They typically have posed no threat and we manage to secure a comfortable win, but in our most recent BUCS encounter they showed up and it was a close one. We can’t be complacent. This Varsity isn’t one to miss because it could be very competitive and come down to the very last bucket”
As detailed before, UKC Men’s Basketball have had a solid season, what with making it to the BUCS cup semi-final. “Unfortunately, we were bettered by Greenwich”, Murray stated. This loss means no promotion, but there is a potential of attaining three trophies if the club carries on being victorious in the local league.
“We feel very prepared for CCCU. We are ready to put on a show”
Murray says. The club always has a high spectator turnout at their events, and they are expecting Varsity to be no different.
“Spectators is massive for our club. It is hugely important in basketball generally, as you can imagine an indoor hall gets a wild atmosphere. We would love to have support from everyone and anyone, regardless of their sport or background. It’s important that the crowd know how much they’re support can lift us, and we promise to put on a show and give you all something to cheer about."
UKC Men’s Basketball pride themselves on togetherness, which they hope the spectators will notice.
“We pick each other up when things go wrong. We hype each other up when things go right. It’s really meaning when we get momentum, because then we are unstoppable”. The game of Basketball itself requires in intensity, due to the physical requirements of the game. “Physically and skilfully,” Murray details, “we run a full court press. We are very athletic. The aim is not to let them get the ball up the court, keep them trapped and get easy dunks and flashy plays coming from our stellar defence. Everyone on our team can either jump out the room or shoot the lights out, so whoever has the ball you can expect them to make a big play and get the crowd going”.
Hopefully the spectatorship will be heightened even more so, what with Men’s Basketball being the final fixture.
“We feel honoured to be the last event at varsity. It is a high tempo and hyped game, and we promise to give you fans something to shout about and a taste of the Basketball you see on TV. Also, it only feels right we go last, compared to some other teams that have been allowed to cap it all off. We represent discipline, hustle and respect in sport on and off the court, and win games because of this. Yes, we feel honoured and hope everyone can make it out and we can finish of varsity the right way!”
Not only have Men’s Basketball had a successful season, but they have also thrown themselves into the fundraising aspect. With the recent death of Basketball sensation Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, Men’s and Women’s Basketball organised a friendly match which raised £248.20. They also hosted a charity Alumni match.
Their Varsity match will take place Saturday 7th March, 6:30pm in Christ Church Sports Centre.