Hemel Storm have named their second new head coach in the space of about six weeks after their previous appointee Rikki Broadmore decided to take a full-time job elsewhere in basketball.
The change was required after Robert Youngblood resigned in June after two years at the helm, where he took Storm to National Cup success and the play-off final in 2018.
Broadmore, regarded as one of the best young coaches in the country, was appointed by Hemel in late July and is departing after never coaching Hemel in a regular-season fixture.
But at the weekend Storm announced that former Storm mainstay, BBL player and England international Dru Spinks has now agreed to become their new head coach.
He is assuming the role with immediate effect and will be joined by assistant coach Michael Darlow.
Spinks is one of Storm’s best former players and his appointment will likely go down well with fans, who will be thrilled to see him back at the club.
Hemel’s pre-season gets under was with a friendly match against a Team USA Select side this Saturday at Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre (tip-off 7pm).
Spinks said: “It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to return to the Storm family who I have remained close to since I retired from playing.
“I will immediately get to work with Michael and the new roster to build a program that will further develop our culture and underpin our philosophy for the coming season and the longer term.
“I can’t wait to get started and be back with the best fans in the league.”
The club’s director of basketball Jon Burnell added: “We are delighted that Dru has agreed to become our head coach.
“Dru has a great reputation within the basketball community and his leadership skills will be vital for the personal development of the players and the team.
“Our coaching appointments this summer point to the future with a young, hungry and exciting combination of coaching capability that will be supported by experienced coaching mentors at all levels.”
Meanwhile, the club took part in the Howell Trophy charity tournament from last Friday to Sunday.
On Friday they took on NBL Division Three side London Thunder and US Air Force team Lakenheath Eagles, writes Ollie Heathcote (12).
Storm were 45-47 down in the first-half against London but came back to win 88-73.
They held a 40-36 half-time edge over the Eagles and went on to triumph 83-71.
On Saturday, they progressed to the quarter-finals after a dominant 120-62 victory over West Herts Warriors.
After the game, Spinks was confirmed as the new head coach of the side.
The Herts victory set up a clash against a Wales Select side, which Storm managed to win 93-71 after a shaky start to make it four wins from four.
In Sunday’s semi-final Hemel were defeated 100-112 by fellow Division One side Thames Valley Cavaliers in an intensely-fought game.
The Cavaliers boasted former Storm player Blayne Freckleton in their ranks.
Storm then lost 78-91 to Division One outfit Nottingham Hoods in a back and fourth clash to determine the 3rd/4th place teams in the tournament.
For tickets to Saturday’s friendly, visit the website www.stormbasketball.net.