No plans in place for BBL return - Gainsbury

Worthing Thunder chairman Frank Gainsbury has revealed the club have no intention of making a return to the British Basketball League at this moment in time.

Zaire Taylor has committed to Worthing Thunder for next season. Picture by Kyle Hemsley
Zaire Taylor has committed to Worthing Thunder for next season. Picture by Kyle Hemsley

Thunder ended a 12-year wait for silverware by winning the National League Division 1 play-offs at the back end of last month.

Head coach Daniel Gayle, who took charge last summer, managed to win a trophy in his first season at the club.

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But despite the play-off win, Thunder chairman Gainsbury admits there is no desire to return to the top division of British basketball at present.

Worthing spent three seasons in the British Basketball League, which ended in 2012, and Gainsbury said: “This season was great for everyone involved with the club.

“We didn’t start that well but improved as the season went on. Daniel (Gayle) brought in a lot of new players and it was always going to take some time for everyone to adapt to a new environment.

“We’ve enjoyed the play-off victory but will be looking to compete on all fronts next season.

“There are no plans at this moment in time to return to the British Basketball League. We spent three seasons at that level and would require a lot of investment as a club.

“A lot of matches are played midweek and on Friday evenings at that level and, without a full-time roster, it makes things very difficult.

“There is always a chance for a return one day but not at this moment in time.”

Head coach Gayle signed a one-year contract last summer, which came to an end earlier this month.

Discussions between Gayle and Thunder have yet to take place, but the talented Zaire Taylor will be back with Worthing next year.

Taylor is a former BBL MVP and starred for Thunder in his first season at the club.

Gainsbury added: “We’ve allowed Daniel (Gayle) and the team to enjoy their play-off glory but now we need to think about sitting down and beginning talks.

“I’d say over the next month or so we’ll really be looking to see where we stand in terms of next season. I’m unaware of what Daniel’s plans are."

“Zaire (Taylor) had an incredible first season with us and it’s great to have him commit to us for next season.

“The aim is to thrash things on as soon as we can. We want to make sure we hit the ground running next season.

“We’ll be looking to finish higher up the league and give both National Trophy and knockout cup competitions a really good go.”