The name BBL stands for British Basketball League and is the premier men’s professional Basketball League in the United Kingdom.
It currently consists of 13 teams who are based in both England and Scotland. The leagues head offices are located in Leicester.
The teams who participate in the BBL are heading in the right direction by signing young British players but ultimately end up going to play in other countries to further develop their games. These countries include the United States, Spain, China and many more.
Leeds Carnegie was established in 2006 and was successful in the lower divisions of the English Basketball League. However due to their six years of success the club were accepted into the country’s highest competition, the BBL. To appeal more to more fans and have more of a professional image, the club was rebranded to Leeds Force.
One player, who decided to leave his division 1 team in Spain to help the newly promoted Leeds Force and BBL develop, is the young British player Zak Wells.
Unfortunately after only signing for Leeds Force at the start of the BBL campaign Zak wells has been forced to leave the team by mutual consent.
Just 10 days before the player left, the club recorded their first ever BBL victory against Manchester Giants in the cup. This is where the British center picked up his injury and has been ruled out for around 6 months after he tore a cartilage in his left knee.
Due to the torn cartilage being so serious, Wells has had to immediately undergo surgery in Leeds to repair the torn cartilage. Leeds Force was actually keen to keep the Center even though this injury occurred, however Wells has decided to leave the team by mutual consent. He made this decision in order to continue his rehabilitation back home in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire.
Zak said, ‘‘It has been a huge setback for me getting injured so early on in the season but I will fight back to come back stronger. I know I can overcome this setback stronger as this is just something that happens in sport.’’
Wells scored 16 points and 10 rebounds in his previous game against Cheshire before his injury occurred.
The victory for Leeds Force against Manchester Giants made history as it was their first ever win in the BBL. The 89-69 success was a delight for Wells and the team as they were able to break their recent drought of losing 4 games on the bounce.
On Wells injury and departure from the club, head coach Matt Newby is sadden by the news saying ‘‘Losing Zak in our campaign so early is a tough one. We genuinely believe he is one of the better domestic prospects at his position and that was beginning to show. His departure is on very good terms and there is always a place for Zak in our programme.’’
With this being the first season Leeds has participated in the BBL, it has been a difficult start with injuries having also played their part. However Zak hopes his team mates have been lifted from their first win and has challenged Leeds to prove that they belong here.
‘‘It is essential that they not be intimidated, keep hungry and stay healthy so they can show that they belong here in the BBL. They have nothing to lose so I hope they can produce some more victories and do the fans proud.’’
Leeds Force comes up against the struggling Surrey United on the 14th November without the recently departed Zak Wells. The match will be played at Leeds Force home arena, the Carnegie Sports Arena.