KitKing Trophy defence begins with tough test against Rebels – Game Preview

14/09/2023

GAME PREVIEW
Sunday 17th September
Hemel Storm vs Essex Rebels, 6pm tip off
KitKing Trophy

KitKing Trophy defence begins with tough test against Rebels

Hemel Storm will look to build on a promising pre-season start against Team USA Select as the competitive season begins in the KitKing Trophy at home to Essex Rebels.

Storm showed signs of promise and tantalised the fans with an impressive start in dismissing the Select side by a huge 50 points on Sunday; an outstanding display of athleticism, combined with accomplished offensive precision and hard-fought defensive plays.

New signings Brayden Inger, Veron Eze and Matt Disu stood out and made a commanding statement, both to their new coaching staff and fans, showing their ability, potential and hunger to help their new side early on. Inger put up 19 points on debut with Eze posting 15 of his own, along with plenty of highlight plays to thrill the onlooking Storm faithful. 

Greg Durand also featured, making his Storm debut, while Ade Atiba will be available to suit-up against his new side this weekend. Import signing Tez Allen remains an injury doubt with a minor injury, but will be keen to get back on the court as soon as possible for his new side. 

Some old faces also reminded us of our success last year, with Hakeem Sylla top-scoring on 25 and American Seth Swalve looking as good as ever with his own 15. 

New Head Coach Mark Clark will lead the side for the first time and Assistant Michael Darlow will return for his 13th year at the club.

Storm will, however, be aware of the challenge posed to them this weekend as a new-look Rebels travel to the StormDome. Despite the loss of key men Jake Eynon and Owen Chose, Essex have recruited impressively over the summer months adding a whole host of exciting, British talent to their youthful roster. 

They started their summer by adding the BBL’s Surrey Scorchers’ Luke Busumbru, formerly of Solent, to their ranks and have poached from fellow NBL sides in the addition of Victor Olarerin, Zain Poorman and Kyron Martin. 

Additionally, the Rebels have very recently announced the signing of two American imports in Trey Chapman and Connor Nelson. Chapman joins the Rebels from Hawaii Pacific, where he averaged 7.8 points and 4.1 rebounds. Nelson also competed at a high level in his most recent tenure, playing in NCAA Division 1 and averaging 2.7 points. Storm will be especially wary of this pair, announced late in the week and with fairly low levels of information available to base their scout upon.

The Rebels will prove a tough test and will give an early assessment of the new Storm sides potential in what is sure to be a thrilling, end-to-end game full of exciting basketball and highlight plays. 

Storm will be eager to impress and to begin their new era and defence of their first title with a statement win, but the new-look Rebels will definitely have something to say about that. 

See all the action at the StormDome this Sunday; tip-off 6pm!

Order your tickets online to guarantee entry here.

Written by Callum Humphrey
Photos by Joanne Charles

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