Category: Elite Mens

Higher Purpose

At London Elite you know we are all about basketball, championship titles, international trips and obtaining scholarships for the most talented, but there is more to us than just hoops, we have plenty of heart! We have a passion for making a deeper impact, not just using catchy wording and social media posts, but real action aimed at trying to make a genuine lasting difference in the world and particularly the community we are truly blessed to be in.

Time and time again we see how it is not a lack of ability that holds young people back from success, but a lack of opportunity. So, with that in mind, we have some wonderful news to share. Ladies and gentlemen, we are very excited to announce that the London Elite are teaming up with The Felix Project for the next two years! 👏🏽🏀🤝💚

The Felix Project is a truly dynamic charity, it’s the biggest food redistribution organisation in London, fighting food waste and hunger across the capital. We know this is quickly becoming one of biggest issues across our society right now. Access to fresh and healthy food is becoming increasingly difficult for people because of the unprecedented levels of inflation and rising of living costs we are all facing.

This is where The Felix Project steps in. The charity works with thousands of organisations, schools and community groups, helping disadvantaged adults and children get access to high-quality food. They provided food for 30 million meals in 2021, and their operation is growing rapidly to try to keep up with the increasing demand. The latest figures found 2 million Londoners live in poverty and the capital has the highest rate of child poverty in the country with 700,000 children living in families struggling with poverty. Meanwhile, our food industry generates 2 million tonnes of good surplus food each year. The Felix Project is here to tackle both issues.

Our GM Daniel Szatkowski said:” Since ‘Day 1’ of London Elite we have been motivated to be more than just basketball mad. With difficult times upon us, we knew it was time to step up and prove this desire to our neighbours and the local community. But we needed the right support and guidance to achieve this. Having The Felix Project was a God send, a blessing in strengthening our potential. I am so excited about our future cooperation.

“Over the coming months London Elite players will be undertaking various activities to support The Felix Project, so make sure you watch our social media channels. The first is having a team participate in THE BIG HALF on Sunday 4th September.”

“Other fundraising activities will include our Men’s team playing in a Felix-inspired alternative kit and some our ticket sales going towards Felix’s work. What is more, our club will design a unique T-shirt for our partnership, these will be sold and all the profits will support The Felix Project.”

“We strongly believe this opportunity can have a significant impact on young people’s minds, personal development and future life chances, so I hope you can all show your support.”

Finally please read what The Felix Project CEO, Charlotte Hill has to say about the new partnership with them:

“We are so grateful to London Elite and look forward to showing them what The Felix Project does. This kind of support helps us enormously, not only with fundraising but also with raising awareness of our work. We are delighted to have so many members running in this year’s Big Half for us and we look forward to the next two years of working together. I am sure their hard work will demonstrate to their local community just how much the team want to make a difference.”


National League season recap

Long awaited, Elite’s first National League season has come to the end. It is truly hard to believe this was a premiere season for us. The whole program success stands as a testimony that the hard work at club foundations pays off. Freezing period during lockdown, gave us time to create strategy how to approach season 21/22 in a best possible way. Along with excitement which was high since , multiple teams were heading towards their first ever season at national league level we coudln’t await the moment of start. Few months later , we come out of very successful Summer 2021 where we collected RBL and CBL championship titles!

U12 Review: Unbelievable Journey.

September 21′ brought lots of questions for our youngest members . Most of players from last year have moved up to U14, some moved from the west London area. This made us think if we should push with the project or simply pull out of National league. At times with less then 5 players in training, it became a challenge and test for us as an organisation. Now looking back we can say that It would have been a massive mistake to pull this team out of NL . Our youngest squad Led by Quinton McKelvey picked couple very talented players on the way and finished 2nd place in league! Journey and testimony for all players and parents involved was indescribable. Currently the future is bright!

Highlights of the year: 2OT win vs Talented Kingston Lions team.https://www.instagram.com/tv/CaM9E0lpAp8/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

U14 review: Goals Achieved!

As previously, the stem of the team results lays in our talented players led by young guard Kaya Birsen. Yet again Kaya didn’t disappoint the U14 Elite fans and brought us joy and plenty of great memories with his amazing game. The journey of our young players’ development leads to one conclusion; the coaching and quality structure which London elite offers is the root for our success. Upcoming talents Sam Scott and Aron Okenge will be players to look out for in near future. Our U14 NBL team finished season with record 14-2, claimed the South IV conference championship title and secured a promotion to Premier level of competition next year!

Check out highlights from a key victory this season:(22) London United vs London Elite (NBL U14 Boys 2021/22 Game 2 Highlights) – YouTube

U16I Review: Mission Completed.

After very successful recruiting summer 21′. Our expectations grew big on our upcoming u16 squad. It did not take us long to enter this talented squad into prestigious EYBL. Season started with multiple wins Coach Mauro DiNunzio had lots to look forward to. His troops improved with each week of fixtures and claimed South II conference title behind fantastic 19-1 record! After regular season was finished, Our boys entered promotion play offs where in first round we faced Milton Keynes. Convincing win (79-54) came behind great defensive performance, our squad sealed final where We faced Woking Blackhawks away. As it was last game of the season, our boys came out firing and claimed a Promotion to Western Premier competition with convincing 106-78 victory!

U16II review: Purpose Fulfilled

With numbers constantly going up, we had more then 12 players showing talent good enough for playing at NL level. With placement of U16II into NL, we have invested resources and time which was very beneficial investment for our club . The evident progress made by our team which was mainly year 10 players was really impressive. Team members proved that they deserve to be on A team in upcoming season. Hard work from coach Kieran resulted in team coming to nearly 500 record as they ended up 8-12 in whole campaign! Well done!

U18I Review: Bright Future

After successful summer 21 and securing multiple players with scholarships in USA, We knew that upcoming season will be a tough test. With 90% squad being in first year it suppose to be a learning curve. But it was more then that. Our talented troops led by Oskar Striuga, Anthony Wilson and David Jesubayode, have proven that they are capable of beating any team in their league. Our team came 2nd out 10 and have proven to be a force to look out to in coming season. Eligible players from that squad formed our U17 EYBL team which was capable of sweeping stage in Romania. We can clearly see that right foundation have been laid for next 12 months.

U18II Review: Progress Made.

Do not sleep on this team. Formed with multiple talented U17 players, with whom many travelled with our U17’s team across Europe. It was a big headache in offseason how to classify which player goes to A or B. But we are glad that many players who started off on our second team are now considered strong candidates for our first team in upcoming season. great work by coach Daniel and coach Kieran.

Men’s Review: Undefeated Squad.

There was only one goal for this team. Knowing how much talent, experience and skills we have acquired in last summer, goal could be one. Winning our division 3 league. And team led by coach Sam Stiller did it in perfect way. Going undefeated in whole season shows that there is pure potential is in our men’s section. But best part of it: it is just a beginning! Look out for exciting news coming up in this summer!

Our GM Daniel Szatkowski said: “First ever National League season was a true accomplishment for our program. We have achieved what we set out as a goal. Promotion of 3 out of 4 teams is remarkable achievement. We still have to remember that despite high ambitious, this was our first ever NL campaign. With more fantastic excitement coming to our home, Capital City Academy, we can say one thing. Season 22/23 cannot come any sooner!”

KD committs to JUCO champions.

KD. Karyiek Dixon. Name that was introduced to wider public by countless, high entertaining game dunks. Player that brought hundreds spectators to our home matches with length, athleticism, and versatility which despite young age help him to achieve division 3 MVP title.

KD is widely loved by teammates, coaches and all people involved in our club. It is always saddening to release such a great team spirit player, nevertheless helping young London players achieve their dreams is what lies in centre of our club. Officially we can announce that Karyiek has committed to Vincennes University (VU) playing in NJCAA Div 1.

This is what KD had to say: “My time at Elite this season, playing alongside my teammates and Coach, allowed me to grow as a player and helped show me the player I can become. Finishing the regular season undefeated was a goal we shared, achieved and was well deserved. The next step on my basketball journey is joining the trailblazers family at Vincennes University, where I will further develop my game and work to help the team win another National championship.”

The VU Men’s basketball team holds a record of 681-74 within fantastic P.E. Complex, including a 179-13 record under current VU head coach Todd Franklin. Know as Trailblazers, VU Basketball team is 4 time NJCAA Division 1 champions, with last title recorded in 2019.

After the Trailblazers were awarded the championship trophy and cut down the nets at Hutchinson Sports Arena, Franklin was named Coach of the Tournament and freshman Kevin Osawe was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.  Sophomores Keith Clemons and Kevin Kangu were named to the 12-player All-Tournament Team.

The Trailblazers are four-time national champions. They won national titles in 1965, 1970, 1972 and 2019.

VU holds the record for most national championship appearances with 34. They Trailblazers also hold the record for most consecutive tournament appearances in the modern era of junior college basketball. This was their seventh straight trip to the national tournament.

Head Coach Todd Franklin is part of famous  NJCAA Hall of Fame. This is what he had to say: “We are extremely excited to welcome Karyiek Dixon as the newest member of the Vincennes basketball family ! I believe his physical style will fit perfectly with the way we have built what we believe is the top Juco program in history !

We would like massive THANK YOU for all Kayriek has done for our club. He will always be part of our history and we will be looking our for his further development!

London Elite Welcomes Support of Leading Global Tech Company Datasite

London Elite, a basketball club focused on developing London’s young sporting talent, is delighted to announce its sponsorship by global technology company, Datasite, a leading SaaS provider for the M&A industry.

Datasite regularly supports initiatives that help bring about greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in its own business and industry. The company is a visionary sponsor of Exponent Women, an industry organization that is dedicated to giving women dealmakers access to meaningful interactions and educational content. Datasite helps educate and inspire the next generation by enabling its leaders to speak with students at institutions like NYIT in Manhattan and the AFAS in Minneapolis, about technology careers.

Merlin Piscitelli, Chief Revenue Officer for Datasite in Europe, the Middle East and Africa said:

“We at Datasite are passionate about supporting the communities where we live and work and London Elite is an excellent example of a programme that is making a difference in the lives of young adults. Sports equip young people with key skills, like leadership, collaboration, dedication, and camaraderie, that will be crucial to their future success and can open up new avenues of opportunity that might not have been previously available.”

Our Director, Daniel Szatkowski said: “We thank Datasite for its generous support, which will give our kids opportunities both on and off the court, including a chance to compete, gain confidence and skills they can use the rest of their lives. Basketball has the power to change lives and Datasite’s contributions will help our kids understand the importance of hard work and achieving goals. Sports is a great unifier, motivator, and leveler.”

to learn more about Datasite, please visit: www.datasite.com

We will regularly update you on project we run together. There will be real impact on our local community. Exciting times ahead!

Phase No.2

Basketball can change lives. Basketball has the power to change lives. When we first met Aaron Pyne , who joined among other junior Elitarians our dreams and visions were not wide enough to encompass such a leader and personality to be part of our team.

In 2019, shortly after opening London Elite club, Aaron Pyne made a big impact on our U17’s team leading it to good campaign in prestigious EYBL league. His outstanding performance did not go unnoticed as Aaron was selected to All Star 5 at the stage in Poland, Lublin.

“I could tell from beginning that Aaron has this special gift of competitiveness. He was always confident in achieving goals and worked really hard. It was amazing to assist him on this journey.”

Aaron not only shone at international level but helped our club achieve what is hard to believe, two U18 titles in most completive leagues, CBL and RBL. Furthermore Aaron was awarded RBL MVP. It is hard to believe this could be achievable without Aaron’s help. His contribution on court was more then outstanding.

Aaron said:” I decided to join London Elite because I was looking for more competitive environment. I really loved that I got pushed and developed into high standards PG. Sometimes I look back and I can’t believe how much of great memories have had at Elite. Winning championships, having basketball family, travel around Europe. This was big part of me becoming who I am now. I am truly grateful to coach Daniel and coach Kieran for all help, Capital City Academy for all support.

Following the profile of our program which is to help UK players achieve their dream and secure full scholarship to play overseas. Aaron is just yet another testimony. We are proud of what he has achieved and thrilled to have another of our Elitarian being noticed and given a chance for further basketball career and oversea education.

Next chapter is ahead of Aaron, but we are more then confident he will far as his talented and working ethic are on different level. Our general Manager Daniel Szatkowski said :

“I am more then proud of Aaron achievement. He has inspired lots of new players to join us, he made London Elite recognisable across UK, assisted Elite in achieving championships. His overall contribution to elite family will go unmatched for long time.”

Wheels Up Mr Beckford

“It could not be otherwise” ..”

“We couldn’t see any other way forward”

This coudln’t happen to a more deserving guy”

Odaine “Mr Everything” Beckford has landed full sports scholarship to Panther Hoops Basketball located in Western Vancouver, Canada. Odaine with his new program will play in majority USA tournament. Panthers will play in approximately 65-80 games from August to April. They will play in two circuits The National Platinum Circuit and the Academy West Circuit in the US. Along with this they will also play US Junior Colleges and other major tournaments.

This does not come as any surprise. Odaine was one of most entertaining players that came through our program. Not only his defensive skills were impressive but ability to dunk in different ways made him player bringing crowd off their seats at Capital City Academy.

His arrival in summer 2020 changed dynamics of our Elite U18 team. With Odaines positive influence boys swept all competitions in London being crowned champions of Revolution Basketball League and Community Basketball League. Despite being younger, Odaine never backed down and in many games led our squad to victories.

Coach Kieran Matthews said: “Odaine is a great player and even better leader and player. I’m really proud of him and how much he’s developed over the year. He has such a high sealing and I think panther hoops will be a great fit for him, the opportunity to play in high profile events and with a very promising staff and group of players will no doubt aid Odaine’s development into a great player. We’ll be watching closely and supporting him over the upcoming years”

We had a chance to sit with Odaine and ask him couple question.

  1. What made you join London Elite program?

-I joined Elite because I saw an opportunity to create something never seen before, a newly founded programme with unmatched potential and skill that could take the country by force and shock the ball community.

2. What did you learn while being with Elite?

-I learnt the importance of situational circumstances such as late game situations, I solidified my reading and reacting ability which was well helped by the way we communicated as a team, team bonding was key in our success. My shot was a weak part at the start of the season, but I got it down and ended the season able to shoot the ball well enough to go to the next level thanks to the early morning sessions with continuous reps.

3. What else impressed you during your stay?

Elite put me on a platform with Nationwide competition which allowed me to thrive and show my ability to everyone else. Although coronavirus held us back, Elite was still able to give me a stage to shine on and get global recognition.

The camaraderie at Elite is unlike any other school I had came across before, there is a sense of brotherhood and welcoming love on court, off court and in the classroom; where we all pushed and helped each other reach our goals as well as being pushed by our coaches.

4. If you could recommend anyone our program, what would you say?

-Elites best thing is utilising everything around them to make you succeed and that’s what got me to where I am now. Although we did win 2 minor championships, rather than any big time championships such as the National League, Elite still succeeded in all aspects of competition and allowed me to prove a point to the nation. The CBL allowed elite to thrive with me and my peers and rebranded itself into a league which could possibly open its horizons even further, as we succeeded they did, as well as the newly begun RBL which got the programme and me myself to where we are to prove our worth.

We would like to say one and massive Thank you Odaine , for helping us lift first championship as club, for becoming one of our family members, for all effort put into our program, for trust placed in the club, passion and thrive to achieve the impossible, and example you imprinted in us by your hard work , perseverance in challanges which lead you in achieving this goal. We will be actively looking out for your progress Mr.Evertyhing.

Elite pathway always was and will be established on developing every player to reach their true potential , create right and individual platform for them to shine and show their true potential not in short perspective but in further career. . We lay the foundations for every player to progress with individual training programme, outlining areas of improvement and searching for future career opportunities within Europe and US programmes. We aim to find the right basketball and educational programme, which will tick all the boxes. At the same time its important to negotiate the right amount scholarship to cover daily needs of a student/ player. Elite works with only with reputable Basketball programmes and Universities.

WE ARE BACK.

Sixteen full months. Sixteen months of waiting. Probably longest and most difficult time for our club. However the wait is over. We are excited to confirm that in season 2021/22 we will be participating in 3 different age groups of European Youth Basketball League. Our club has entered boys teams into U16, U17 and U20 age groups. EYBL CE has been expanding internationally, providing a good level of competition and great experiences across 21 countries, 100+ teams, with 26 stages annually.

EYBL CE Director Balazs Radics said:” We are happy to welcome London Elite in the European Youth Basketball League again, after working together with Daniel Szatkowski for many years we are looking forward to have his Club competing for EYBL in 2021/22 season.”

Our teams will play in minimum of 2 stages with possibility of 3rd stage of play offs for top 5 teams. In previous years boys came close to play offs stage. This time our squads head into competition after solid period of preparation which allows us believe we will be very competitive on this level. First stage is set to take place in period September 21′- December 21′ with 2nd stage taking place January 22′-February 22′.

Our General Manager Daniel Szatkowski said:” We have missed this competition so much. We play in lots of great leagues however EYBL is a prime competition where boys are able to gain unreplaceable experience playing overseas. Those tournaments are helping our teams mature and develop their pro mindset. News of us returning to this competition is something we have been waiting for. Indeed, we have been longing for..”

Each squad will start preparation in early August to make sure teams are ready for upcoming European campaign. we can confirm that coach Mauro DiNunzio will be in charge of U16, Coach Kieran Matthews will run U17 while Coach Daniel will take our oldest group, U20’s. We will confirm details as soon as hey become available.

Should you be interested in trying out for any of these teams, please contact [email protected] or sent a message to 07453314867.

2020 Review

2020 is the year to be remembered. We look back in what happened in previous calendar year. Our club has grown in strength despite all obstacles we faced.

SEASON 19/20

Season 19/20 was cut short due to lockdown being imposed however we look back to our EYBL experience keeping our heads high. In first year of entering club performed on great level against top European competition.

It led to some of our players receiving individual awards of prestigious All Star 5 of tournaments. Aaron Pyne and Israel Olalekan shined at U17 level while Matthew Disu collected this award for his great performance at U20 level. Head Coach Daniel Szatkowski said: “It is shame we never got to finish U17’s season but overall experience showed we belonged to that high level of basketball and can perform against great clubs”

Our Club always priorities development as a key for success. In season 19/20 our talented U12 squad was crowned champions of CBL Division 1! This is outstanding achievement bearing in mind how competitive the league was. Boys showed amazing commitment and heart for the game. This successful campaign would not be possible without impact that our young guard Kaya Birsen had on a team. On many occasions Kaya led our team and earned himself a MVP of the league title. We cannot miss the fact that our top scorer Anton Safin was named to All Star 5 of the league. Well done!

PREPERATION FOR SEASON 20/21

We could not achieve our goals if it was not for our partners. We are fully delighted that from season 20/21 we have taken our partnership with London School of Basketball to whole new level. It creates unique combination and helps London players to take their game to next level while studying at Capital City Academy.

London Elite has entered 8 teams into national league, and 9 teams into CBL for upcoming season 20/21. It is linked to heavy increase of members in our club. It is worth to mention that heading into 2020 year we had 80 members while by Christmas 2020 time this number was 140!

Our European campaign not only continues, but has been expanded by adding U16 boys and U18 Girls. It gives 4 squads an opportunity to take part in European league in season 20/21! We are proud to say that we have made history as first British team to enter European Girls Basketball league. Head Coach William Twigg said: “Great opportunities for girls and women in our sport right now. I believe London Elite will optimise every experience for them in the EGBL and other leagues at U18s international level”

It was always obvious for us that we cannot be sure on when domestic leagues will start. However we focused on things we can control. We organised and played 30 friendly games between August and Christmas. It provided great replacement for lack of leagues that are delayed till at least March/April 2021.

Shortly before Christmas we have opened our clubs merchandise shop which provides all sort of clothing accessories at affordable level. It is another step club is taking towards bright future, but also a gives a way of direct support of club to stay afloat during current uncertain times .

WHATS NEXT?

Our Head Coach Daniel Szatkowski said:” 2020 was a year of growth for us. Lockdowns imposed on UK did not help at all however we prevailed despite obstacles. We are currently in another lockdown which is frustrating. However I am sure and confident that determination of coaches, parents and players will not only allow us to pull through these times, but we will come out of it stronger. You will see in 2021 what London Elite is. New competitions added, new equipment, new pathways to America and Europe. New coaches and even more fun in this basketball journey”

Get to know Josh White

We had a chance to sit down and talk to our Men’s team player who recently moved to UK and will represent London Elite during season 20/21. See what Josh White had to say:

1) How did you start playing basketball?

I started playing basketball when I was in year 5, I must have been 10 years old. I was a pretty chubby kid and I had no idea what I was doing but my parents really wanted me to play a few different sports at a young age. They were really encouraging as well, in fact my dad and my stepmom volunteered as assistant basketball coaches that season.

2) What is your best moment in your career?

I’ve got a few good memories from playing basketball over the years. I think the one that stands out to me most was hitting the game winning shot and winning a championship while playing professionally in Argentina. It was a really close game, I hit a few big shots down the stretch including back to back three’s that sent the game in over time and a three from deep that ended up being the game winner! It was really special celebrating with my team and all our fans. I’ll never forget that feeling.

Check highlights from that game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx-0t0ig2U4&feature=youtu.be

3) What is your philosophy in basketball?

My philosophy in basketball is pretty simple, “just keep showing up.” As a basketball player, just like anyone else, you’re going to have good days and bad days. The key is consistency, don’t get to high on the good days and don’t get too low on the bad days. Also, be disciplined in your training, even on the days you don’t want to be there, “keep showing up”.

4) What is your favourite NBA player?

My favorite NBA player is the GOAT, the best basketball player to ever play the game, Lebron James. However, I don’t play like Lebron, most of us don’t, so I always tried to watch other players who I thought I could play like or who had similar style games. A few of my favorites, who I tried to model my game after were guys like Gilbert Arenas, Stephen Jackson, JR Smith, JJ Redick and Rajon Rondo. I think it’s really important to watch film of player who you have a realistic chance to model your game after.

5) What do you expect from playing in UK?

Thats a good question, I don’t have many expectations from playing in the UK, I’m pretty open minded. I’ve always said, my favorite part about playing professional basketball overseas has been the relationships and opportunities to experience new cultures. If I’m being honest, I just hope to build some lasting relationships and have a positive impact on the community and the club.

We truly look forward seeing Josh White wearing London Elite uniforms in season 20/21 and having big impact on our local community!

Upcoming new men’s team!

We are excited to announce that in season 2020/21 we will be competing in National League Division 3 organised by Basketball England. With our ambitions to provide best possible platform for players to develop their game and collect needed experience this would be ideal opportunity. Our Head Coach Daniel Szatkowski will look after this project. He will be assisted by upcoming young italian coach, Mauro DiNunzio.

Our team will be based on our EYBL U20 team with addition of few men’s and experience players. Coach Daniel said:

“Our philosophy as a club is very simple. We want to develop best possible players. However we understand that on mens level, they need to be supported by experience players who can assist the younger group during season. We have very talented kids at Capital City who will benefit from this project and I am looking forward this new challenge for us as a club”

Despite lockdown period, our club has started working towards building strong structures for upcoming season, starting with addition of Adam Burjij to our staff who will look after our players and educate them about injury prevention. Our team will be having regular highlights and great social media exposure with credit to Ivan Grotsev who is one of best in business!

There is one more name that we need you to highlighted, which is Josh White.Our first men’s player has played professionally in countries such as Germany, France, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Prior to playing professional, Josh has experience playing university basketball at the NJCAA, NAIA and NCAA levels. This is what he said:

“I am 31 years old and I’ve been playing competitive high level basketball for the past 15 years. Over the last 6 years, I’ve played for well over 25 clubs in more than 10 countries around the world. Not every stop on my journey was successful, there have been ups and downs, I’ve been cut from teams and won championships with teams. In the end, I have always learned something and come out of the experience a better person and player. My favorite part about playing basketball overseas is the relationships I’ve developed all over the world. I’m looking forward to to playing with London Elite this season in the NBL and helping this group achieve their goals.”

We organising online trials for players interested due to lockdown restrictions. As soon as we are back to training we will have invitation only on court tryouts. Please do not miss opportunity as our men’s team journey is looking exciting! Please see details below.

Contact coach Daniel on 077453314867 or [email protected], should you have more questions.