Hemel Storm's preparations for the new season begin

Storm's coaching team and key players are staying on for the new campaign

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 7:14 am
Updated Thursday, 26th August 2021, 7:16 am
Hemel Storm's Greg Poleon

Hemel Storm’s preparations for the new season are under way.

Storm have confirmed head coach Dru Spinks, assistant Michael Darlow and the club’s performance analyst Dane Frost have all committed to another season.

After leading the team to a third-placed finish in the National League as well as the play-off final last year, head of basketball Jon Burnell is delighted to have secured their commitment for a third season.

He said: “Dru, Michael and Dane have done fantastically well as a coaching team over the past two seasons.

“Despite the Covid challenges they have achieved great on court success for our club.

“We all look forward to seeing our fans back at the Storm Dome next month.”

With the coaching team on board, Storm have also announced a number of key players for the new campaign.

The National Basketball League Wilson Player of the Year Greg Poleon will be returning to Storm.

Following a standout debut season, Poleon came back to Hemel for the 2020-21 campaign and had a season to remember.

American guard Taylor Johnson has also joined Storm for the new season, having recently suited up for the Thames Valley Cavaliers.

Since arriving in England in 2018, Johnson has been an exceptional player, averaging 23.4 points per game, 6.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists while shooting 57 per cent from the field, 41 per cent from three and 80 per cent from the free-throw line.

Storm have confirmed Bode Adeluola, who has been with the club since 2011, and Tayo Oyefusi are staying on while Jack Burnell will be entering his seventh season at his hometown club.

His impact off the court has been key to the development of Hemel Storm as he is the director of events at Russell Hoops and consistently provides brilliant opportunities for young players

in Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas.

Another new face joining Storm is Johnathan Lashley, a 6ft 7ins forward who most recently played for Solent Kestrels.

Sam Newman will return for the new season. After completing his finance degree at the University of Essex, the 2019 Storm Trooper’s player of the season is coming back and heading into his fifth season in Division One.

His maturity, character, playmaking and scoring ability was on full display for the Essex Rebels last season and established himself as a leading guard in the National Basketball League.

Meanwhile, 6ft 5ins guard Levi Noel will also be back for his third season with Storm having been an important part of their team during the 2020-21 campaign.

Storm’s match action will start again with a friendly against Team USA Select on Saturday, September 11 at Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre with the tip off at 7pm.

This is followed by the continuation of the L Lynch Trophy where Storm’s group includes Thames Valley Cavaliers, Reading Rockets and Oaklands Wolves.

National Basketball League action starts in October with an away trip to local rivals Oaklands Wolves on Saturday, October 2.

The full fixtures and details of how to purchase season tickets are available on the club’s website www.stormbasketball.net