Storm getting ready to open their 2017/18 league season

Hemel Storm's summer signings Michael Darlow, Nick Allin and Jack Burnell
Hemel Storm's summer signings Michael Darlow, Nick Allin and Jack Burnell

Hemel Storm will be having a final tune-up friendly this Saturday against a USA Select side before the 2017/18 season proper gets under way the following weekend, September 16, at Leicester Warriors in the National Trophy.

The tip-off is at 7pm this Saturday at Sportspace.

Hemel Storm chairman Tony Humphrey (right) welcoming new coach Robert Youngblood to the club back in June.

Hemel Storm chairman Tony Humphrey (right) welcoming new coach Robert Youngblood to the club back in June.

Earlier in the day, Storm’s basketball stars will be in Hemel Hempstead town centre as part of the Tour of Britain (see main story, left) festivities.

The club will be at the Rainbow stage at the Marlowes shopping centre from 11am for junior basketball competitions.

Then, between 2pm and 4pm at the same venue, Storm fans can meet and have their photos taken will players.

Storm have re-tooled over the off-season, chiefly with the naming of a new head coach in Robert Youngblood.

The legendary BBL player has been first assistant at London Lions for the past two seasons.

He also previously led Essex Leopards in National League Division One for three seasons, coaching them to a final-four appearance each term, a National Trophy win in 2013, a league runners-up spot in 2014 and the league title in 2015.

He finished his playing career in the UK in the top ten of four BBL statistical categories – games played, points, blocks, and rebounds.

Last year’s head coach Dave Allin is staying on to work alongside Youngblood in a new role as associate head coach.

On the playing side, Storm’s biggest – in every sense of the word – off-season signing was securing the signature of seven-footer Lee Greenan.

The experienced and dominating centre is a former Great Britain under-20 international.

Greenan, who has played professionally in France, is currently studying at the University of Essex and is part of their elite sport scholarship programme.

After signing, he said: “I can’t wait, it’s really exciting. Everyone you speak to has good things to say about Storm. It’s Division 1 basketball where I think I belong.”

Storm have also re-signed three of their outstanding former junior players for the 2017/18 campaign.

Michael Darlow, Nick Allin and Jack Burnell will all strengthen the squad for the coming season.

Hemel’s first home game of the new season is on Saturday, September 23, when they host London Lituanica in the National Trophy.

For more details about Storm’s games or season tickets, visit the website www.stormbasketball.net.