Future Stars London International U18 Tournament
In 2009, the Future Stars Tournament featured the national U18 teams from Spain. Italy, Israel, Poland and England together with the hosts, Richmond Select team. The 2009 Future Stars Tournament was won by Spain, who beat Poland by 15 points in the Final. Poland had previously overcome a very strong Italian team in their semi final, winning by only 2 points in a close fought and most exciting match.
The Tournament MVP was Miguel Servera (born 1992) from Spain. Miguel “Miki” Servera, who signed to play for Unicaja Malaga, is already considered to be one of the hottest young talents in Spain since Ricky Rubio. Hewas a member of the under-16 Spanish national team, averaging 8.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals in the 2008 European Championship last summer and was also chosen to play for the International team at the 2008 Jordan Brand Classic in April 2008. A definite “future star” who more than lived up to his potential at the 2009 Future Stars Tournament.
Not to be outdone however, the England U18 team featured 18 year old future star, Ryan Richards (born 1991), who has been tipped as an NBA prospect since he was 14 years old. Richards was the player the British spectators most wanted to see in action and he did not disappoint, scoring 15 against Poland and 20 against Spain.
Ryan Richards, originally from Jamaica, started his sporting life playing football but, like many other tall youngsters, was scouted into basketball by his local team in Kent. Ryan Richards is considered to be the best young basketball prospect in England since Luol Deng, currently the UK’s most famous basketball player now playing in the NBA for Chicago Bulls.
The whole Tournament was a massive success, achieving its objective of showcasing a much higher level of junior basketball than is normally seen in this country. The very enthusiastic packed crowds at Kingston College throughout the weekend can attest to that.
Tournament Co-ordinator, Jack Majewski, said after the event, “We were absolutely delighted to attract the highest level national teams that we did. We were actually approached by several other European national teams, and found ourselves in the unenviable position of having to turn down teams that other tournaments would have killed to have in their line-up. The great success of this year’s event will now encourage the organisers to look at ways of making this Future Stars Tournament even bigger and better next year.”
Future Stars London Coaching Clinic
“Coaching Basketball at the Highest Level”
The 2009 Future Stars International Basketball Coaching Conference took place at Kingston College from 11–12 July and was attended by over 70 coaches during the two-day event.
Following the huge success of last year’s Coaching Conference, Future Stars once again managed to secure high profile speakers of international renown and experience to lead and stimulate the exciting Conference.
Pepu Hernandez, the highly acclaimed former head coach of the Spanish Men’s National Team with whom he won the Gold Medal at the World Championships in 2006 and the Silver Medal at the European Championships in 2007, was one of the keynote speakers. Hernandez gave outstanding talks on “No Dribble Basketball” and “Defence of the Low Post; Double-Team”
The other keynote speaker was Neven Spahija, head coach of Pamesa Valencia and previously of Tau Ceramica with whom he won the ACB Spanish League title in 2008. Spahija has coached high-profile teams all over Europe and has the honour of having won six National Championships in five different countries. Spahija gave first-rate talks on “Pick & Roll Defence” and “Offence – Weakside Action.”
The international coaches were joined by experienced university lecturer, Bryan Jones, whose specialism is the development of elite players through high performance coaching. Jones gave excellent talks on “High Performance Coaching: Developing Expertise” and “Learning Styles, Feedback and Communication with Players.”
“Thought it was a great weekend. Good to see some good level of junior basketball, but the content delivered at the coaching conference was truly excellent.” Commented one visitor to the Tournament and Conference.
Basketball is a growing sport in the UK and the Future Stars International Coaching Conference provided a unique opportunity for the best coaches from the UK and Europe to come together; not only to learn from master classes and taster sessions led by the cream of the international coaching fraternity and other sporting experts; but also to meet, debate and share best practice among each other.
To view video from the 2009 events click here.