Oscar proving his worth for Thunder

Oscar Wilkins in action for Worthing Thunder against London Lituanica. Picture by Kyle Hemsley

Oscar Wilkins in action for Worthing Thunder against London Lituanica. Picture by Kyle Hemsley

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Despite a difficult start, not to mention the adjustment to life with the Worthing Thunder, point guard Oscar Wilkins is now enjoying his basketball more than ever.

Wilkins joined Thunder from NBL Development League side Folkestone Saints last summer. The transition and move up three tiers of Basketball England's league pyramid to begin with was not smooth sailing, with the 27-year-old having to travel to training and games from his home just outside of Guildford.

Admittedly it was harder than he anticipated but Wilkins remained committed, wanting to prove himself on a Division 1 roster.

“The travel was harder than I thought as I don’t actually live in Worthing or Sussex, I live about an hour away,” Wilkins explained.

“Getting to Worthing for games can be hard sometimes, but after the first few weeks of the season, I grew accustomed to it and I’m cool with it. Lots of people travel further for their day jobs, so I got used to it.”

And upon his arrival, Wilkins immediately noticed the strong competition for places at the guard spots, mainly competing alongside regular starters Brendan Okoronkwo, Tom Ward and Jack Sunderland.

However, Wilkins’ spirited nature and heavy contributions on the court has caught the attention of the Thunder supporters and head coach Daniel Hildreth.

His hard work was noticed last Saturday night when Wilkins claimed the Barkers Tarring MVP award in the Thunder’s National Trophy semi-final against London Lituanica, as he posted seven points and three assists.

Even though Worthing lost their semi-final encounter with London, Wilkins most of all impressed off the bench as his energy provided a much needed boost, leaving coach Hildreth with plenty to think about in regards to distribution of minutes heading into Saturday’s clash with Bradford Dragons at the Worthing Leisure Centre.

“Oscar plays with a lot of energy and he is a fantastic addition to the group,” Hildreth said.

“He plays with no fear and is always 100 per cent committed to the team.”

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