5 reasons to expect Storming success!

16/02/2024

No game, no problem! As Storm embark on their first blank weekend of the year, we’re saving you from your basketball blues with a look ahead of what is still to come this campaign. A minimum of nine games, with at least six at home. Plenty to fight for. Titles on the line. Here’s five reasons to get excited, as the season rolls to a close and Storm strive for glory once more.  

Home games galore! 

Storm return to action next week, in what kicks off a bounce of three back to back home fixtures. There’s plenty for you to feast your eyes on and enjoy your weekly basketball fix, with games against Trophy finalists Bradford Dragons, local rivals Thames Valley Cavaliers and league leaders Derby Trailblazers. At the usual tip-off of Saturday 7pm, it leaves you no excuses but to get yourself down to the StormDome as we hope to make our home court a fortress; with last season’s raucous atmospheres providing evidence as to the role you can play. As the season’s close draws in, every game is vital and the boys need you, acting as their sixth man, to push them on as they look to draw in the leaders and provide a thrilling finale to the year! With a further three fixtures scheduled here in Hemel, Storm can really harness their unrivalled match night experience to propel them to the top of the standings once more. 

Return of the Johnson! 

It was Manchester, April 2023. As Storm reigned supreme in the playoff final, we worshipped Taylor Johnson yet again. Another MVP performance alongside Aaryn Rai confirmed our status as the unprecedented quadruple champions. Nagging in the back of our minds, however, was a fear that he may just be too good. A BBL opportunity looked certain. And so it came, as we waved goodbye to a Storm star after two years in the black and orange providing us with cherished memories of great basketball and fantastic fun. But fear not Storm fans. Taylor recently announced his return, back for a short spell to close the season where he hopes to remind us all of the good times he gave us previously. Having made his comeback in consecutive away trips to Worthing and Barking, Taylor will be back on the court he calls home next Saturday. A chance for you to herald the man in the headband once more, as he hopes to contribute to the Storm side already hell-bent on success this year. Adding unquestionable quality, Taylor’s presence will naturally push the team on and his laser-focused competitiveness will mean he is determined to make an impact. Don’t miss out on Storm’s final few months, where Johnson and his team will hope to end with a bang and seal glory once more!  

Double-header action!

In Storm’s final six home games of the season, half of them offer a double dose of fun! The University Storm side, competing in Division Three East, currently sit in sixth spot and will precede the men’s first team action on both 24th February and 2nd March. With a chance to see some thrilling young and upcoming talent, including the first team’s Kavell Hawes and Ade Atiba, and at no extra cost, why not get down and support the boys?
In their inaugural year of competition, the Hemel Storm women's side have started strongly in NBL Division 2. Positioned fourth in the standings with a game in hand on those above them, the team will fight till the end to grab a top spot in the table. In a blockbuster double header on Saturday 9th March, the girls will compete before the boys on Storm’s centre stage!

Run in with the Rebels! 

With just two points separating them in second and third place in Division 1, Essex Rebels and Hemel Storm are sure to be two main-players in the season’s title race. The sides have matched up just once so far this year, in KitKing Trophy action at the start of the campaign leaving both league games currently unplayed. Mark your diaries for back-to-back weekends as the sides will battle it out first at home in Hemel on Sunday 24th March, before Storm travel to Essex the week after on the 30th. Two high quality ties are guaranteed, and with head-to-head and crucial final league points on the line, just how significant could this tussle with the Rebels be for Storm’s season ambitions?      

Playoff glory repeated? 

As we speak Storm sit in third place, expectant of another playoff campaign to close the year. A top-four finish guarantees one more home fixture on the calendar, while if Storm can sneak into the top-two we can await both quarter and semi final action at the Dome once more. With Storm defending their Playoff title, they will be determined to fight to hold onto the trophy and this is sure to provide fascinating basketball as Storm put it all on the line to secure another trip to Manchester. All going well, Storm will have the chance to return to the National Basketball Centre on the 28th April for the fourth year in a row and fifth in the last seven after the post-season affairs were curtailed by Covid in 2020. 

 

Honours and reputations are on the line. A thrilling climax awaits as Storm look to write another chapter in their expanding history books. A promising campaign has run-out thus far, with the Storm train gaining momentum and now looking a real threat to those above them, proving themselves to be an athletic, unified roster full of quality basketball. 

Strap yourself in and beware, this Storm ride is far from over! Tickets and information for all remaining games can be found on the website; www.stormbasketball.net.

 

Written by Callum Humphrey
Photos by Luke Simcock

Copyright Hemel Storm Basketball