Hemel Storm announced on Monday the signing of new Head Coach Robert Youngblood who has been first assistant at BBL Club London Lions for the past two seasons.
Coach Youngblood led Essex Leopards in National League Division One for three seasons coaching them to final four appearances each term, a National Trophy win in 2013, League runner-up spot in 2014 and the League title in 2015.
A veteran player in the BBL and with European teams, Coach Youngblood finished his playing career in the UK in the top ten of four statistical categories - games played, points, blocks, and rebounds. He comes to Storm as the Club sets its sights on bringing silverware to the town having established itself over the past five seasons as a competitive Division One outfit.
Originally from Florida, Coach Youngblood has dual American-British nationality and is looking forward to taking the helm at Hemel: “I’m thrilled to be appointed as Hemel Storm’s Head Coach,” he said, “I’ve played and coached against Hemel in the past and they are a first class organisation. The fans are the best in Division One and I’m looking to get the Club to the top very quickly.
“The way Storm’s management handles players and other personnel with such professionalism made it an easy choice for me to step in as Head Coach. I will make the very best of a great situation.”
Storm’s Head of Basketball Programme Dave Titmuss said: “Coach Youngblood is a great fit for us. He brings vast experience and terrific basketball intelligence to our Programme.
“As a player he was always a believer in the team concept and was the type of guy who did the intangible things to help his teams win. These are attributes that match perfectly with what we’ve tried to ingrain at Storm and which now we want to translate into more competitive success.”
Coach Youngblood is reviewing the Vanarama-sponsored Club’s current roster and looking at how it might be strengthened. He’s planning a number of open try-out sessions before preseason training starts in late August. The Club is expected to announce his coaching team in the next two weeks.
Storm Chairman Tony Humphrey is delighted: “This appointment is just another step towards our goals as a great community Club competing nationally,” he said. “We have without doubt the best fan base in the League and have attracted some high profile commercial partners also that are working closely with us to take Storm to the top.
“The match night experience for fans and players alike is second to none and now we want to build on all of the work that’s been done already and herald in a new era of national success.”
Picture caption: Storm Chairman Tony Humphrey (right) welcomes Coach Youngblood to the Club