Brixton Ballers are aiming for another top-three finish as they prepare for a new season in the Third Division South of the National Wheelchair Basketball League.
The team, who play at the Brixton Rec, won eight games and accrued 22 points, enough to earn them third place in 2017-18, one position higher compared to their previous season.
The Ballers’ last game was a 56-25 away loss to the Sussex Bears who finished the season top of the table. Assistant coach Percy Hutchful hailed his squad and expects the team to consolidate their efforts by pushing for another place in the division’s top three next season.
Hutchful said: “Coming third last season was a great achievement for us because we came up against some seasoned professionals.
“Being a young team it taught us a lot. There were games where we lost by a point or two, which could have made the difference in terms of where we finished.
“We really took this on as a learning curve and I’m proud of what they have delivered. I think next season is going to be really big.
“We have a player who is 15 and in his first season with us, he scored two points. Last season he scored 100. That shows there is development and growth within this team.”
The Ballers have been boosted by the addition of three new players and the return from injury of Kyle Alexander, 17, a squad member who represented England in the Powerchair Football World Cup earlier this year.
“I had scoliosis on my back to a severe degree and it meant I was out for a whole season,” said Kyle. “There was a lot of pain as it was in the nerve endings of my back. I had to get used to a new shape and a new feeling.
“To build myself back up there’s been a lot of physio, a lot of time spent in the swimming pool, a lot of early mornings and a lot of pushing to try and get back to full fitness.
“The biggest challenge I have faced as a player is coming back from injury, as it was definitely a lot more mentally demanding than I thought it would be in comparison to the actual pain I felt after surgery. However, once you get back there is no better feeling.
“Now I’m back I’m just raring to go, I’m excited. It feels great to be back with my teammates. I feel like I have missed out on a lot but, I feel there is a lot of time to make up for it.”