Thunder ready for new beginning

Daniel Hildreth. Picture by Andre Nichols
Daniel Hildreth. Picture by Andre Nichols

It will be a new beginning on Saturday night as Worthing Thunder host USA Select in a pre-season friendly before their National Trophy opener against Reading Rockets on September 17.

After nearly 34 years of attending every home game and faithful service to Worthing Bears and Thunder - the baskets have been retired - and Saturday’s game gives Hildreth and his players the chance to get accustomed to the new buckets in the annual pre-season fixture against the Americans.

“So many unbelievable players have enjoyed the ‘friendly’ hoops from the likes of Herman Harried, Billy Hungrecker and who can forget the glory years with Alan Cunningham and Colin Irish,” Thunder coach Daniel Hildreth recalls. “It already feels strange in practice not having them rolled out but I’m hoping the new hoops bring us luck in the future.”

Saturday’s game will also see new scoreboards in place at the Leisure Centre due to the old one practically giving up last season, but the hard working volunteers installed a projector to the table officials’ scoreboard as a reasonable substitute.

But focusing matters on to the court and Hildreth has confirmed that there will be a full squad in time for the Trophy opener against the Rockets and that preparations for the new season are going well. The majority of this season’s team will be playing this Saturday against USA Select.

“From a playing perspective it’s a good opportunity to get some of the cobwebs out and try some of the new offences that have been put in over the summer,” said Hildreth. “We obviously don’t know the USA Select’s personnel but one thing for sure is that they always come very well prepared, hungry and physical.

“It’s a great test for the guys to play at an extremely fast pace, as notoriously the select team will full court press for the entire game. Preparations are falling into place with the team and we expect to be at full strength and ready for the first Trophy game against rivals Reading on the 17th September.”

Thunder’s pre-season fixture against USA Select tips at 7:30pm with tickets £5 for both children and adults.

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