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.”

Sky is the limit.

Anthony Atakpu. Our own Anthony.

We are more then pleased to announce his commitment to Elevate Prep school which is part of 212 Academy on full sports scholarship!

Anthony is yet another player who successfully committed to great basketball program in USA. Following steps of Odaine Beckford, Alex Wildish and Stephen Ovia, he will join program based in Florida that competes against big programs like OCP, Victory Rock, Rocktop Academy etc.

Elevation Prep is known from having experience and successful coaching staff, John Mahoney who previously was part of coaching staff at Virginia West or Michigan state.

Program not only has outstanding coaching staff, but currently has proven track of players who made it to NBA. Likes of Jonathan Isaac (Orlando Magic), Anfernee Simons (Portland Trailblazers) or Bruno Fernando (Atlanta Hawkes) are just a great testimony of what is going on at 212 Academy program.

Anthony Atakpu joined our program 2 years ago. He was one of first members that our club have welcomed within its structure. He not only showed amazing talent but is also a great example what hard work can do. Anthony progressed from local league, through EYBL into England U18’s squad showing what potential player he is. Best part of it is that he is still early in his career and he has all abilities to make it all the way.

Anthony was a part of our Championship U18’s squad and we would not be able to lift first ever U18 trophy (RBL) if it was not dominant performance from our upcoming star.

He claimed RBL MVP award after leading our squad to victory over Baltic Stars.

Coach Daniel said: “Anthony is very unique player. Always stepped up to challenge we faced. To se him grow, overcome his own limits it is truly rewarding for me as a coach. I had privilege to work with Anthony for two year. He will be truly missed as he is loved teammate, but it is right time for him to fly out of nest and go where needs to go.”

Anthony is just yet another testimony what London Elite is providing young players in London. Amazing platform for achieving their goals. We had a chance to ask Anthony about his experience during his time with us. This is what he said:

“London Elite was recommended to my by my friend Nezelle. After finding out what achievement coach Daniel had, i decided to trust him. I know this was just right decision. I learnt how to play aggressive at all time and how to work with other great players as a team. We had amazing time at Elite, won championship, created brotherhood with other players. This will always stay with me wherever i go. I am grateful for all support, love and help i received from my teammates, coaches and teachers at Capital City Academy.

You can find all details on Elevation prep school website: 212° Academy | Basketball | Sarasota, FL (twotwelvesports.com)

Aiming stars

Prolific Prep School. Name familiar to many basketball fans in whole world. Program based in Napa Valley north of San Francisco. Known as “Pro Prep” for short, Prolific Prep includes a highly qualified staff and offers the opportunity for top US players who compete with accomplished International level athletes, a unique fusion that provides an unparalleled competitive advantage. Program is run by famous Coach Billy McKnight who was two years as head coach at the United States Basketball Academy in Blue River, Oregon. Program has produced multiple NBA players with recent Jalen Green who has been selected with number 2 pick in NBA draft 2021 by Houston Rockets.

Prolific Prep head coach Billy McKnight said: “We look forward to having Alex part of our program at Prolific Prep this upcoming year. Prolific Prep will again be one of the top programs in the country as we compete for a national championship. Alex will bring toughness and versatility at the guard position. We look forward to having him and helping our back court.”

We could not be happier to see our player, Alex Wildish being part of such a famous program. Alex performances has not gone unnoticed by American coaches and in season 21/22 Alex will proudly wear Prolific jersey.

Having led our U18 to RBL title was one of signs of talent Alex has. Not long after his dominant performance Alex another inspiring performance saw our club collect CBL title with win over Brixton Topcats. Alex collected MVP award.

Head Coach Daniel Szatkowski said:” Alex is a very unique player. He can come in at most difficult time of the game and changed dynamics of the game. In RBL final our team was down 14 in 4th quarter. Alex came in and led our great comeback for RBL title. Knowing calibre of Prolific Prep is breath-taking but in other hand i know, that Alex has clearly earned it and deserves it. He will be truly missed but he is just another testimony what London Elite is about.”

We Had a chance to sit down and ask Alex couple questions:

1)What made you join London Elite?

-It was a level of coaching and competition attracted me and I already had connections with coaches and players from past. Environment is very friendly and competitive at the same time.

2)What did you learn during the time with us?

-At Elite I learned how to be a better teammate and I gained skill and grew as a player in many ways. It transferred directly to my game and help me reach another level.

3)What was best thing during your stay at Elite?

-The best thing during my time at elite was winning both championships and being the MVP of one. These memories will stay with me forever. I am glad i could contribute to overall success of the club.

4)What would you advise next generation of players?

-I would advise the next generation to never give up, stay consistent with the work you put in and be a student of the game. Do not let anyone to outwork you.

We are very thankful for all Alex has done for our club. He great performance helped us sweep U18 season and off court he become one of us. True friend and brother to all of our players and coaches. Best of luck Alex!

#londonelite #elitebasketball #prolificprep #pathway #USbasketball #basketballengland #elitehoops #hardworkpaysoff

Against all odds.

“You have to achieve certain skills, enrol and attend specific basketball programme with exclusive USA programme connections, then follow the patent and recommended pathway to have a slight chance to make it to USA” They say.

But maybe not necessary? Maybe there is other way around, alternative pathway focused on your talent properly staged for others to see and as a result of your hard work and dedication .Not connections. Your hard work pays off and not necessary you are designed to bang your head against the wall.

Following this little introduction I am thrilled to announce that Stephen Ovia from London Elite team has landed full sport scholarship to attend Phelps Prep school in Philadelphia in upcoming season.

The Phelps’s School is located in Malvern, PA, a western suburb of Philadelphia. The Phelp’s Lions basketball program plays a highly competitive schedule against the best competition throughout the north east coast. Several Phelps
alumni have gone on to play college basketball at prestigious universities such as the University of Connecticut, Penn State, Temple, Drexel and Seton Hall. The Lion’s play pre-conference tournaments and exposure events throughout the season. Phelps is a member of the highly competitive Great Atlantic Conference (GAC) and the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools end of season tournament (PAISAA)

“We can not wait to get Stephen on campus. His athleticism and multi-faceted skill set will add tremendous
value to our program. A player of Stephen’s calibre will bring excitement to our upcoming season” – said Phelps School Head Coach John Harmatu

Stephen joined our program with background from West Hearts Warriors in summer 2019. Regardless long period of lockdown , which did not help in any basketball player career , against all odds Stephen prove that he can outwork everyone.

Despite missing out on EYBL experience, Stephen has made most of all London Elite provision in domestic competitions. Our club compensated lack of national League competition with great number of friendly games.

In season 2020/21 we have played over 40 games across RBL, CBL and friendly games. Stephen on many occasions contributed over 30 points with 15 rebounds alongside. His role was crucial in our clubs sweeping all competitions and being crowned RBL and CBL champions.

His outstanding performance saw him being selected for prestigious event Hoopsfix All Star Classic where he ended up 3rd top scorer.

We had a chance to catch up with Stephen before his flight to Philadelphia:

1)What made you join London Elite?

“I joined London Elite because I liked what the program had to offer and saw it as an opportunity to improve my skills by being in an environment where I can practice every day”

2)What did you learn during the stay with us?

“I would say the main thing I learnt during time in London Elite was how to be versatile and adaptable to different situations. I was able to get a feel of different positions on the a court. I realised that this taught me how to be more effective and not so one-dimensional”

3) What impressed you most with our program?

“What impressed me was the way the team was able to gel quickly in such a short period of time, players and coaches. We worked hard as a team and coaches were constantly pushing us. We also were constantly pushing ourselves which helped us work cohesively to achieve our common goal”

4) What advise would you give to players following your pathway?

“Make sure you keep you head down and focus. Both on and off the court. Listen to coaches and utilise every opportunity you have to improve. Coaches go out of their way to do extra early morning sessions and even during the day so make sure you make the most of them”

We would like to say big thank you Stephen for all effort you did in helping us achieve our goals . We are truly proud of your progress and achievement. We will be looking out for your further career overseas.

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.

Summer Showcase 2021

We are thrilled to announce that from summer 2021 we will be organising basketball tournaments in London. An idea appeared after having seen multiple talented teams from across UK and lack of platform to showcase their game due to recent lockdown restrictions.. We wanted to organise a proper tournament where kids could play in the best environment, where they can enjoy the game and bring great memories back home. So it is official August 13-15, Capital City Academy will host first ever Summer Showcase! This year tournament will focus on U12 group.

Organising tournament turned out to be harder than it initially seemed . The multiple factor behind idea had to be implemented, before it could become a reality. This is an combined effort of experienced staff , supportive parents who are unreplaceable, venue that can host big event and sponsor that can make things happen.

Our first tournament is proudly sponsored by Undeniable Label from South London. COE and founder of Undeniable is Koder who is also an artist. He has over a decade of experience being a recording artist and creative entrepreneur doing sold out shows in New Zealand, Song featured on FIFA 2021 and many more successful endeavours. 
“Undeniable focuses on fostering local greatness through its sub divisions, Undeniable records, Undeniable studios and and Undeniable films. The backbone of Undeniable is the community, we focus on creating a sustainable ecosystem that gives back full circle. Undeniable takes creatives from adverse backgrounds and nurtures their growth using education to enable them to successfully further their careers” Koder said. 

This year tournament line up is truly impressive. From London based team of Chiswick Gators, Brent Panthers, and our own U12, we are happy to welcome two programmes which are long time recognised for their great work, Brentwood Fire and Manchester Magic,

Teams will tip off from Friday 13th of August at midday. Schedule will arrive shortly.

Our General Manager Daniel Szatkowski said: ” London Elite has been most spoken club in this summer due to amazing results from U18 however one thing we cannot forget. No one will work harder then we do to bring up basketball at grassroots level. This is our ID. We pick talented kids from primary schools and train them all the way to be top prospects in UK. Massive shout to Undeniable for there support. We will be able to watch them perform at our tournament!

The tournament is opened to public, please feel welcome to come and enjoy this great event. For more info please contact coach Daniel.

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.

Coach Lee Welcome Aboard!

Coach Lee welcome to the team! We are thrilled to have you at London Elite . With your exceptional skills and expertise, our dynamic club will progress to new heights! We are excited to have you onboard

Lee, level 3 coach has already over 18 years of experience in coaching different levels in UK. From EABL, ABL level, across national league U18 all the way to community coaching. His range of experience is well known and respected across basketball community in United Kingdom. Lee McCarthy started his basketball journey with a junior program of London Towers where he won National league titles in all age groups. Having finished junior basketball he moved on to Senior level where he won Division 1 championship with Reading Rockets. He continued his professional career in Turkey and Portugal before returning to BBL.

In 2008 coach Lee opened Bucks Hornets club based in Aylesbury area which competed at National League level, then in 2018 moved to south London and took the Head Coach role at Harris Academy Crystal Palace. This year coach Lee McCarthy will take over U12 squad in our domestic competitions for reminder of season 20/21. His experience in basketball will significantly assist our club in providing best basketball development pathway and will be a valuable and terrific asset. Here is what he had to say: “I am passionate about developing elite players both on and off the court. There’s little more satisfying as a coach than seeing a young player I have worked with develop some of the skills and personal attributes needed to eventually perform at the top level. I’m really excited to be joining London Elite”

Our club is committed to providing best possible provision, therefore adding Coach Lee is another step to building amazing club. His role will be in leading our talented U12 team in domestic competitions while we are looking on adding international tournament in this summer. Check quote from our GM Daniel Szatkowski:

Our u12 squad is still open for taking new members. If you are interested in taking part in this exciting project, please contact coach Daniel on 07453314867 or [email protected]

Season update

With lockdown coming slowly to the end with clear map for return to play  on the horizon, we are truly delighted to inform you that outdoor U18’s trainings will resume from 29th of March while indoor session will start on 12th of April 2021 . Men’s team will follow younger squads on 17th May. While the things we take for granted slowly return to our lives those positive news is something we really looking forward to.

Our General Manager Daniel Szatkowski said: “This lockdown was in particular hard for our players, as shortly before Christmas all teams were ready for start of the season. There is a big challenge for all staff at London Elite to make sure we can provide as much as possible for what is left of 20/21 season.”

With positive news of return to trainings, we are happy to confirm that our U18 squads will restart their Community Basketball League from 16th of May 2021 . This will provide much needed mental booster for boys and girls who were kept away from game they love so much. We are adamant about getting this return right, and minimising the risk to our players, coaches and families, so  as a club we will make sure all safety procedures are in place .

Club is planning on strengthening theirs community presence with new projects being planted to ensure young people have access to basketball.

Those positive news can mean one: we returning to work with appreciation for each day on court we get!

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”