BBL LogoBasketball fans have been getting excited about the announcement of the pre-season schedule for the NBA. Pre-season is a great time of year but even though it is good to get back into the swing of things, it cannot compete with competitive action. This is why any basketball fan should spend less time this weekend focusing on what pre-season NBA games they’re looking forward to seeing and they should focus on things in Britain instead. The BBL is back for the 2013-14 season and there is an excellent opportunity to see some great basketball stars and teams.

The return of the BBL this weekend is not just about providing a stop-gap until the European or NBA leagues get back underway, the BBL is a cause for celebration and excitement for basketball fans in the United Kingdom. There may be not the same focus, glamour or razzamatazz in Britain as you would get in the USA or Canada but is that a bad thing? If you’re all about the basketball, you’ll be all about the opening weekend and the action gets underway on Friday night.

There are three big games taking place on Friday the 27th of September. You get the chance to see the London Lions take on the Manchester Giants, the Esh Group Eagles from Newcastle take on the Durham Wildcats and the One Health Sharks from Sheffield will be facing up to Cheshire Phoenix. These are three big games and should provide an excellent tip-off to the new campaign.

There are two games to look out for on Saturday the 28th of September. You can see the Leicester Riders take on Birmingham Knights and in the evening’s other game, Surrey United take on Worcester Wolves. There is also something quaint about seeing the particularly English team name of United crop up against the more US centric names that many of the other top UK basketball teams.

It’s second game Sunday for a few teams

Sunday sees a number of teams taking part in their second league game of the campaign as there is a fast and furious beginning to the 2013-14 BBL season. Five of the six teams involved on Friday night are back on court on Sunday, with only the Durham Wildcats having some time off for good behaviour!

The first game of the day sees Plymouth University Raiders get their season underway by welcoming the London Lions. The other two games on Sunday evening sees the Cheshire Phoenix play the Esh Group Eagles of Newcastle and the One Health Sharks from Sheffield travel to Manchester to take on the Giants.

More coverage is always good for the BBL

EuroSport LogoGetting to a game is a great way to see some brilliant basketball action up close and personal but TV fans are in for a treat this season. This is because the BBL has announced that British Eurosport is the exclusive rights holder in the United Kingdom to the league. Sadly the coverage of the league is not scheduled to begin until the 9th of November but it gets underway with a bang by showcasing the game between the Worcester Wolves and the Plymouth Raiders. Over the course of the season, British Eurosport have promised to broadcast 26 weekly programmes across the various channels that the company has at their disposal.

In a statement released to the press, the Commercial Director of the BBL, David Leyden Dunbar, seemed delighted about the tie-in, he said; “Our move to British Eurosport is about creating an appointment to view for the British Basketball audience. Moving to more regular scheduling throughout the season I’ve no doubt that we’ll be able to translate a surge of interest in the sport, reflected in our participation numbers, into a passionate following for the new weekly show.”

The excitement about the partnership was shared by British Eurosport with David Kerr, the MD for the company, saying; “We are very pleased to have secured the rights to the British Basketball League, which adds to our recent announcement of NFL Monday Night Football and the UEFA Youth League rights amongst others. We look forward to bringing the very best domestic basketball action to fans in the UK”.

Every show, which is scheduled to last for an hour will feature a specially selected game from the BBL.

Who will light up this season’s BBL?

This is something to look forward to later in the year but when it comes to the start of a new season, there is one thing that every sports fan loves to see. There is nothing more exciting than seeing a new signing in action and there are plenty of big names limbering up to make their BBL bow this weekend.

Plymouth University RaidersPlymouth University Raiders have made two big acquisitions from the USA this season. 23 year old Trevor Setty comes from his performances at Pikeville University in Kentucky last season. He comes with a reputation of versatility and was deployed as a small forward, power forward and a shooting guard in recent times. The player also has the reputation of having a reliable three point shot on him, which could light up some games.

The Raiders have also snapped up Matt Pressey, a 24 year old guard who will replace Jarvis jones for this new season. Matt’s dad was a NBA player and coached a number of teams while Matt’s brother Phil has just signed for the Boston Celtics. There is clearly basketball in Pressey’s DNA and he is a player to look out for this season.

From one of the country to another with respect to new signings as the Glasgow Rocks are very pleased to have captured Antonio DiMaria. The Italian-American guard has been brought in to replace outgoing Marin Zelalija, who has returned to Croatia for personal reasons. DiMaria has been a late addition to the squad but he seems to have fitted in nicely with the coaching staff at the Rocks expecting big things from the player this campaign.

There are new players across the league and we look forward to watching them in action and talking about their performances in the weeks and months to come.