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OFFICIAL LSB CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

WEST THAMES BASKETBALL ACADEMY

@ WEST THAMES COLLEGE

London Road, Isleworth, London TW7 4HS

ELITE TRAINING, COMPETITIONS & SKILLS DEVELOPMENT IN WEST LONDON

DO YOU WANT TO JOIN WEST THAMES ACADEMY?

WELCOME TO WEST THAMES BASKETBALL ACADEMY

WEST LONDON LEGEND COMES HOME TO INSPIRE NEXT GENERATION

West Thames have partnered with the London School of Basketball in creating the LSB West Thames Basketball Academy to provide an elite level basketball training and competitions program, alongside top-quality academic courses for aspiring young players in West London.

The Academy is led by former GB International and Commonwealth Games medal winner, Duke-Germayne Forbes – who is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most accomplished players to ever emerge out of West London.  After a storied playing career that has spanned the globe and has been showered with success, Forbes has returned home as a fully-qualified coach to pass on his skills, knowledge and know-how to the next generation of West London future-stars.

“Our aim at the academy is to connect with young players who haven’t yet been able to get the best out of themselves and help guide them towards unleashing their true potential as we provide them with the tools they need to build the futures they dream about for themselves.  So many fall off the track before they’ve really given their goals their best effort or even understand what their individual best effort really is.  We want to help correct that.  Ultimately nobody can do the work for you, but as long as you have all of the right information, better understand how to get the best out of yourself and have access to the places you want to get to, we believe the success rates in young people will increase dramatically.  I’m living proof that dedication and determination can lead you to your desired destination.  I want to show exactly what I did to get to where I got to and pass on all I’ve learned along the way to the next generation.”

West Thames Tigers compete in the Academies Basketball League (ABL), AoC and also the CBL – providing in excess of 30 games per season for academy players.  The team will also be travelling abroad to give players invaluable international experience and providing all the support necessary to open up opportunities for playing college basketball in America and competing for University scholarships, while also opening up links for European progression, for those who fit the criteria.

The Academy invites all players aged 16-18 to come along to a trial to see if you have what it takes to be a part of something special.

To secure an invite to trial for a place at the West Thames Basketball Academy, fill out the short application, which can be found here: https://www.london-basketball.com/west-thames-apply/

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN WEST THAMES BASKETBALL ACADEMY

LEARN HOW TO WIN

Winning isn't decided with the last shot of a big game or on the day of a big exam, or life-changing interview. It's done in preparation. The things you do repeatedly on a daily basis, whether good or bad are ultimately what shapes who and what you will or won't be, if you 'make it' or you don't, if you win or not. At West Thames we help show you how to build winning habits. We have coaches who have played and succeeded at the level you are trying to get to and know exactly what it takes to get there and are ready to share their knowledge, training habits, drills and game time skills with you. If you want to win, you need winners to help show you how. At West Thames, we are fortunate to have one of the best to ever do it, leading the academy.

INCREASE YOUR EXPOSURE

It's no secret that the more coaches who know about you and what you are capable of doing, the better your chances of finding the right fit for you after you graduate from the academy. You can't assume coaches in America and all across Europe and the UK will find out about you on their own. In order to put yourself in the best position for next-step-success, you have to be in an environment that maximises your exposure to the coaches at the next level. There can never be any guarantees you will get a scholarship or place on a professional team or acadamy in Europe, however you dramatically increase your chances if you're supported by media staff and coaches who understand how to help you create an effective player profile, compile purposeful game edits that properly market your strengths in the ways coaches are looking for and have the contacts to help make it all happen. At West Thames Academy we record all of the games, giving you all of the footage you need to market yourself properly to coaches worldwide. We also help players with 'mixtapes' and putting together your own player profile then distribute to a wide network of coaches at the levels best suited to your ability. If your goal is more exposure and you have talent that has been under-represented, West Thames can help.

TEST YOURSELF AGAINST THE BEST

To be elite - you've got to compete. West Thames Academy currently play in the Academies Basketball League (ABL) which matches you up against some of the best players across the country in regular weekly competitions. In addition, the Academy will be flying out to Europe to compete against top European teams over Easter 2020, giving you a prime opportunity to test yourself against the best. Top players from our academy are also selected to play AAU basketball in America over the summer, via Coach Forbes 'So Blessed' program, giving you additional opportunities to play against the same US players who are competing for the scholarship spots you may be intersted in. Many talk about the competition, but you have to play against the competition to find out where you are now and what you will need to do later to beat the elite, when your time comes.

PROGRESSIVE PATHWAYS

West Thames Academy has extensive links with Universities and professional teams all across Britain and can help you find the right pathway for your skillset, academic and athletic ambitions. America isn't for everybody and there are rising opportunities all across Britain that provide a high-quality education alongside challenging British Universities competitions that the LSB are well-positioned to help you take advantage of. Choosing West Thames for your next step is a strong move towards powerfully positioning yourself for placement within one of the progressive University basketball pathways we have here in Britain. Our staff are well-connected throughout the sport and will work with you to 'plug you in' to the opportunity that best fits you. In addition, we have strong relationships throughout European basketball, particularly in France, Italy, Spain, Serbia, Switzerland and Germany - if Europe is your goal, if your talent meets the criteria, we can help with opening the right doors so your game remains firmly within the EU.

COME & LEARN FROM A LEGEND

Germayne Forbes is widely revered in basketball circles as one of the most talented players to ever emerge from West London. After scoring 73 points in a National League game and establishing himself as an unstoppable force in English Junior basketball, he earned a full Division 1 scholarship to NCAA powerhouse Gonzaga University. An unprecedented achievement at the time, as he never attended prep school in America and went straight from the UK to the top level in the USA. A member of the Gonzaga team who went deep into the NCAA March Madness tournament, reaching the 'Sweet 16', coach Forbes is widely regarded as one of the best shooters Britain has ever produced and still sits within the 'Top 50' all-time 3 point shooters at Gonzaga. He then went on to transfer to West Georgia University, where he earned 'All-Conference' honours and established himself as one of the best 3 point and FT shooters in the country before moving on to enjoy a 12 year European and International career, highlighted by a medal winning performance for England at the Commonwealth Games (on a team he led in scoring). Coach Forbes practise habits became the stuff of legend during his playing career, often incorporating what others considered 'unorthodox' training methods into his regimen at the time, but have since proven to be at the apex of modern training technique. Now fully-qualified as an accredited coach it's an honour and a privilege to have him come back to his hometown to pass on his knowledge to the next generation. There is only one 'Germayne Forbes' and we have him here at West Thames. This is a chance for you to learn your next level from a West London legend.

BLESSED HOOPS AAU COMPETE ACROSS THE US EACH SUMMER

Through our head coach, West Thames Basketball Academy is directly linked into London's leading 'AAU' program 'Blessed Hoops' who take a team from London out each summer to compete in tournaments across the USA, for the purpose of helping increase players exposure to and experience of US collegiate competition, while continuing to cultivate a culture of excellence, high-performance, leadership and good citizenship in each of the players.

A truly international program, Blessed Hoops has outposts in Switzerland, Senegal and England and has become a 'hotbed' for talent, drawing major interest from college basketball scouts and coaches across the US. However, the program is far more than a conduit for skilled basketball players looking for scholarship attention from America.  Blessed is about preparing young people for the game of life, using the power of basketball to engage, train and develop the minds of tomorrow's leaders through dedication, discipline and selfless team play, so they understand the power and dynamics of working together towards common goals.

The same skills that will ultimately help land the opportunity to play in college/university in America form the foundation of transferable skills Blessed Hoops work to bring out of each and every one of their players who represent them in international competitions.

It's a powerful program - and it's working.

Blessed Hoops has gained notoriety across New York and the east coast of the US and is rapidly gaining traction as the most coveted AAU program by US coaches looking for UK talent.

Players at West London Academy get the added benefit of being directly 'plugged in' to Blessed Hoops, with the top players at the Academy also earning places on the coveted summer program.

*For more information on Blessed Hoops visit:

Website: blessed hoops.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blessedhoops/

CHOOSE FROM A WIDE RANGE OF STUDIES AT WEST THAMES COLLEGE

West Thames College is a vibrant college of further and higher education which boasts a wide range of courses and apprenticeships to equip you with the skills and experience to make your next step with confidence and qualification.

State-of-the-art facilities are on hand throughout the college to assist you with your chosen field of study, with a friendly and professional team of staff at the ready to give you the support and guidance you need to succeed.

With strong core values of Integrity, Excellence, Equality and Respect, West Thames is fully-committed to inspiring and enabling all of our students to achieve their full potential.

To learn more about what courses of study are available to you at West Thames, please visit:

>Courses for 16-18 year olds @ West Thames

Travel

Rail

Isleworth Station (5 minutes walk).
https://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/plan-your-journey/network/

Tube

Osterley or Hounslow East Stations (Piccadilly Line), then 10-15 minutes walk, or by bus from Hounslow Bus Station.
https://tfl.gov.uk/maps/track/tube

Bus

110, 117, 235, 237, H8 and H37 buses stop outside the college.
http://content.tfl.gov.uk/bus-route-maps/hounslow-station-a4.pdf

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.
http://www.hounslow.gov.uk/index/cpz_interactive_map.htm

 

LSB ACADEMY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Click on any of the questions below:

LSB Academies are free of charge for 16-18 year olds who eligible for college in England.

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 30-45 games per season.

Courses of study vary from college to college, but typically include A-Levels and BTECS across a wide range of subjects and also GCSE re-takes for those who require.

 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.

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.

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.

First step is to till out an prospective player enquiry form, found to the right on this page.  Alternatively you can apply for a trial directly with one of the academies found here: LSB ACADEMY LISTINGS

Once your information has been received, a member of our team will get back to you and invite you to a trial date at one of the Academies.  After your trial, if successful and you are academically eligible, you will be invited to enrol at the Academy.

LSB Academies academies are currently available in North and West London, with East and South London centres opening up in 2020.  You can find all available academies here: LSB ACADEMY LISTINGS

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.

LSB Academies feature fully-qualified coaches with vast experience at all levels of the game.  Many of our coaches are former professional and international level players who are now re-investing their expertise and know-how into the next generation.  To find out which coaches are in place at the academy you are interested in, visit the LSB Academies Listings page and click on the specific academy for more information.

Yes.  All LSB Academies have qualified S&C coaches who work with all players on individual training programs to improve strength, stability, agility and overall athleticism.

All ABL and a majority of CBL 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.

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. 

Most LSB Academies are flexibile with student-athlete acess to the courts to shoot/practise during non-scheduled practise times.  Our coaches want you in the gym as much as possible, when not studying and so will always work with our facility partners in trying to accommodate all dedicated players who want to get extra practise in.

Most LSB Academies are flexibile with student-athlete acess to the courts to shoot/practise during non-scheduled practise times.  Our coaches want you in the gym as much as possible, when not studying and so will always work with our facility partners in trying to accommodate all dedicated players who want to get extra practise in.

Yes, all LSB Academies have access to strength & conditioning facilities.

Help, yes.  Guarantee, no. 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 able to profile you and introduce you to coaches who can help facilitate scholarships to US colleges.

Yes. Interested girls should also apply as our academies are open to both males and females and provide the same support for both.

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.

LSB Academies currently compete domestically in the ABL, AoC, CBL leagues.  However our teams also compete in European competitions and some 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.

LSB ACADEMY PROGRESSION PATHWAYS

Our coaches and staff have extensive links with a network of coaches and teams across the globe and actively work with our elite level players in helping find the right level for their next step after graduation. Our network includes coaches and staff from the following organisations:

         

 

          

 

 

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