Tring School Pupil Evan Walshe has answered the call of his country and will take part in a one-day showcase of British basketball designed to inspire a new generation of players.
The sport’s grassroots community has taken it upon itself to respond in the wake of UK Sport’s withdrawal of British Basketball’s funding earlier this year – the result being the inaugural Hoopsfix All Star Classic.
The event has been organised by British basketball website Hoopsfix.com and all proceeds from the day will go towards the Hoopsfix Foundation – a newly-launched not-for-profit initiative dedicated to helping grow the game of basketball in the UK.
Walshe will join the rest of Britain’s best ballers on the court at Brunel University, in Uxbridge, on Sunday, June 15, to celebrate the talent that exists in the country.
The day tips off with the top 22 U16 players in the country taking to the floor before an U25 all-star game – featuring the best talent of a generation from North and South – takes centre stage.
Bucks Hornets are thrilled that Evan has been invited to take part in such an important event and hope the club’s fans will support him there too.
“I feel honoured and truly blessed to be asked to play with the best U16s in the country, and feel really excited for this opportunity,” said Evan.“I’m looking forward to playing with some good friends who share the same passion towards basketball as I do. Also, ultimately to show off my game.”
Bucks Hornets head coach Lee McCarthy added: “Evan is a true product of Bucks Hornets having been spotted as a complete beginner at one of our summer camps way back when he was 11 years old.
“That season he began playing for Hornets and has gone from strength to strength each year.
“It’s great for our programme to be able to develop players that can compete at the highest level in England and beyond. Evan is just one of many who has put in the hard work and is now beginning to get the rewards he deserves. “
Hoopsfix will also host a dunk contest, where some of the UK’s best aerial artists will take to the floor to be crowned the UK’s best dunker.
A community coaching session will take place in the morning, which will see youth players from the London School of Basketball being put through their paces by Reach & Teach, the official grassroots development partner of the Hoopsfix All-Star Classic.
Sam Neter, owner of Hoopsfix.com, added: “The event is a celebration of British basketball talent, history and culture.
“There are a ton of great players from here, many of which do not get the recognition or support they deserve and this is a chance to shine a light on just how much potential we have.
“With all the proceeds going towards the Hoopsfix Foundation, the event will give back to the game that has meant so much to all of us, bringing it full circle.
“We have been delighted with the response from so many of the country’s top players, who have jumped at the chance to be involved.
“This says a lot about the strength of feeling amongst the players following the devastating funding cut and with this event we are aiming to turn that emotion into something positive.”
Limited tickets, which are expected to sell out quickly, are available online at hoopsfixallstarclassic.com, and will not be available on the door.