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HOUNSLOW BASKETBALL ACADEMY

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Please click on the questions below to find answers to the most common questions we receive in relation to our Academy.  If you still have a query that isn't answered below, please CONTACT US directly for further help or information.

No.  While the pandemic has paused all competitions for the 2020-2021 season, the Hounslow Basketball Academy continues to provide an education and athletic training program in partnership with West Thames College.  

It is anticipated that all competitions will return for the 2021-2022 season.

Recruitment for places on the 2021-2022 squad is currently LIVE

 

Your first step is to apply for a trial, so our basketball coaching staff can begin the process of evaluating your talent and suitablility for our Academy.  

Initial application is completed online via our application form found here: HOUNSLOW TRIAL APPLICATION

Once your information has been received, a member of our team will get back to you and invite you to a trial date and open day at the college.  

After your trial, if successful and you are academically eligible, you will be invited to enrol at the Academy.

For selected players, aged between 16-18 years of age are eligible for college in England, the tuition, coaching and competitions program at our Academy is free of charge.  

For international students who do not have resident status in Great Britain, fees may apply.  If you are an international student who wishes to attend West Thames Academy, please contact us so we can discuss what options may be available to you.

 

No.  All student-athletes attending a LSB Academy are required to enrol on a course of academic study at the partnered college.  Basketball and education go hand in hand at all of our academies.

 

West Thames College is one of the Top 3 Colleges in London (based on overall performance for students aged 16-18 across all levels in 2019) and offer a wide array of courses you can study.

For players who want to keep their studies close to a sports related career path, West Thames provide BTEC Sport at Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3, which you can find out more about here:  SPORTS COURSES

In addition to sport, West Thames offer an exciting range of other course alternatives that cover Business, Science, Computing & ICT, Media & Music, Engineering, Travel & Tourism, Health & Care, Construction, Art & Design, Performing Arts and others.  

To see what else West Thames offer, alongside your basketball, take a look at: COURSES OF STUDY

LSB Academies are also introducing SAT preparation classes for players who aspire to play in America to best prepare for the Scholastic Aptititude Test exam, which is a pre-requisite for all players intent on playing college basketball in the US.

For any additional information on any of the courses offered, CONTACT US.

Academy teams typically compete in a number of leagues in order to provide our players with as much game playing opportunities as possible.  A LSB Academy typically schedules between 35-50 games per season.

Varsity players at our academies receive 10 hours per week team practise, in addition to individual and team S&C and individual skills development sessions.  In total, this can aggregate to 15 hours of basketball related coaching per week.

Hounslow Basketball Academy is based at West Thames College in Isleworth, West London, which is located at:

West Thames College, London Road, Isleworth TW7 4HS

How to get to us:

By Rail

Isleworth Station (5 minutes walk).

By Tube

Osterley or Hounslow East Stations (Piccadilly Line), then 10-15 minutes walk, or by bus from Hounslow Bus Station.

By Bus

110, 117, 235, 237, H8 and H37 buses stop outside the college.

Parking

There is a car park for staff, disabled students and evening students (entrance on Harvard Road), however places are limited on a first come first served basis. There are parking meters on the roads directly around the campus. The nearest free parking is on Osterley Road.

The LSB Hounslow Academy at West Thames College is lead by former GB International Duke-Jermaine Forbes.

Coach Forbes is one of the top players to ever emerge out of Great Britain and has played at the NCAA 1, 2 and professional levels.  He was also the top guard for the England Men's International Team who won a Bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games. 

Academy games are recorded in full and made availalbe to all players for the purpose of performance analysis.  These games are then used as a tool to market players to coaches who may be interested in you, at the next level.  For the standout players at our academies, we will also help in the production of player mixtapes and have skilled editors in place to manage production.  

We work with each player on helping identify and match the right level he/she should focus in on  post-academy and then put a player development plan in place that gives each player the best possible chance of securing a place on the right team after you graduate from the academy.

Our coaches and staff have extensive links with coaches across the US, UK and Europe to help place players at the level your ability allows.

In addition, top players from our Academies will feature in talent showcase events to further profile you to coaches at the next level.  Our aim is to help players get the attention and profile their skills deserve so you can find the right college or post-Academy opportunity that matches your ability.

LSB Academies currently compete domestically in the ABL, AoC and CBL leagues.  However our teams also compete in European tournaments and the top players from our Academies will also travel to America to compete against other prep schools and AAU competition, to give players first-hand experience of the level of competition in both America and mainland Europe.  In addition, we also place talented players from our Academies into EYBL (European Youth Basketball League) competitions and National League teams linked to our programs.   

No coach or academy should ever 'promise' any player a guaranteed scholarship to America in return for attending their school or playing on their team.  Ultimately, scholarships are granted to student-athletes who best fit the criteria a US college coach is looking for.  This is never just one talent, but invariably a mix/balance of suitable skills and characteristics that fit the need.  

Many players think that scholarships are won on just basketball talent alone, but this is never the case.  All players who aspire to play in the US college system must be academically eligible for the level they are applying to, so committing to your studies is a 'must' if you want to pursue a US College Scholarship - even if the actual scholarship is an athletic grant.  Before coaches really get to assess your basketball talent, they will first ask and do their homework on your character.  Coaches want players who add value to their team, high character players who can be relied upon to be where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there and ultimately being 'coachable' (that means, being able to follow instructions with a positive attitude and excellent effort).  

Ultimately, coaches are professionals who are in position to help you continue to develop and be the best you can be, however in order for them to be able to do that (which ultimately will benefit their team) you have to be someone who is ready, willing and able to work hard, follow instructions and be a positive person both on and off the court.  With so many thousands of players worldwide, now in pursuit of college scholarships, coaches do not have to accept players who do not fit their criteria, as there will always be others who do.  Your job is to make sure you put as much work into the development of your character, focused work ethic and positive personality as you do your basketball skills and academics, to put yourself in the best position for our coaches to help you reach your goals of a US Scholarship.

For those who understand the requirements and are able to meet the criteria, we are well-positioned to be able to profile you and introduce you to coaches who can help facilitate scholarships to US colleges.

Many players dream of one day playing professional basketball in the NBA or WNBA but very, very few will ever realise that dream.  It's not impossible, as a small handful of British players have proven in the modern era (Luol Deng, Joel Freeland, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Temi Fagbenle).  However, statistics show that the chance of a player from the UK making it all the way through to the NBA or WNBA are very slim.  

However, professional basketball does not begin and end in just the NBA/WNBA.  There are many hundreds of professional teams worldwide who offer qualified players professional playing contracts. While the salaries are not as high as the NBA (side note: WNBA do not pay the highest womens salaries), leagues such as the Euroleague, Liga ACB (Spain), CBA (China), Turkish Premier League, HEBA A1 (Greece), Israeli Super League (and others) all offer lucrative contracts for qualified players.  

There are also a wide number of leagues across Europe and South America, outside of the aforementioned leagues,  where professional players can earn signficantly more than the UK 'average' salary. 

That being said, the competition for jobs, at every level, is very competitive.  So, just like any competitive industry, your chances of going pro will be directly related to your qualification and ability to positively impact the organisation you are trying to get into.  You will need to be amongst the best as a player and have proven that, or be able to prove that, to your prospective employer.  

Proving you are amongst the best is achieved by developing your 'body of work', your basketball CV.  Where have you played? What did you achieve?  What are you capable of doing?  Have you proven it already?  If so, where?  Do you have references?  Do you have quality game footage (evidence)?  What level have you been successful at so far?  All of these questions, and more, will be asked of you by your prospective employer (pro team).

In order to best prepare yourself for the intense scrutiny, your goal should be to learn, develop, refine and sharpen all of your basketball skills, physical and mental abilities towards being the very best version of yourself you can be.  Then you must play (and prove) yourself as you progress up through the 'ladder'.  For a British player, there isn't just one route to the pro's anymore however the traditional ladder looks something like:

(1) Make you local team and establish yourself as a dominant player

(2) Make your national team and establish yourself as a dominant player

(3) Earn a scholarship to a US college/university and establish yourself as a dominant player

(4) Earn your first professional contract and establish yourself as a dominant player

(5) Move up the professional ranks in line with your ability and evidence of being a dominant player

These steps are not set in stone, but give you a general idea of the trajectory you need to follow in order to achieve a high-level professional contract.

The common theme throughout the steps is establishing yourself as a dominant player.  In order to do that, you need the right information, coaching, access to facilities to practise as much as you'll need to in developing dominant skills and of course, competition.  LSB Academies can help develop your skills and also put you into competitions and situations that enable your game to be assessed by coaches at 'the next level', once you are ready.  

There should never be any promise of 'professional basketball contracts' from any coach, as ultimately that will come down to your work ethic, attitude, talent and ability - however, the choices you make around surrounding yourself in the right environment can dramatically help (or hinder) your chances of one day fulfilling your goals.

 

Yes. Our Academies aim to cater to both boys and girls.  If you are interested in applying for a place at our Academy, the first step is to attend a trial, which starts with filling out our TRIAL APPLICATION FORM

We care about your development.  Not just on the court, but also in the classroom and with the choices you make around your future.  Our goal is to help support our student-athletes towards being the best you can be.  

LSB Academies represent a door to potentially life-changing opportunity - we want to work with driven student-athletes in preparing you to walk through that door and succeed when you get to the other side, wherever that may be.

You are responsibile for your attitude and effort, in all you do, however if you are prepared to do the work and are ready to commit to continuous improvement, we will do everything we can to help you reach your goals.

The LSB is well-positioned to utilise a strong global network that has been developed over many years, in helping place qualified players in the situation that best fits your abilities, both athletically, academically and socially.  

In addition, our Academies are not just about the 'elite'.  We are deeply committed to developing a stronger and better skilled basketball workforce to help in the ongoing growth and development of our game.  In line with this commitment, we welcome young people who are passionate about the game and perhaps want to channel that passion into careers within basketball that go beyond just playing.  We help develop coaches, officials, physio's, media professionals, administrators, marketeers, business and event managers all with a view to staying within the sport as you develop your career opportunities. 

No, we do not provide boarding facilities at Hounslow Basketball Academy, at this time.  

Hounslow Basketball Academy is managed and delivered by the London School of Basketball in partnership with West Thames College. The academy has been developed to provide an elite basketball training, competitions and player support program, alongside top-quality academic courses for aspiring 16-19 year olds in West London.

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