Our very own Lisa Williams has been selected to play for the FIMBA GB women’s basketball team at this year’s European Championship.
We caught up with Lisa to find out more.
Hi Lisa! Before we get started, what do you do at Croydon College?
I work in the School of Business Engineering and Technical Professions as a sports lecturer. I teach across all the NCFE sport programmes available at Croydon College, including the new Level Two Gym Instructing course.
What is maxibasketball?
Maxibasketball is a competitive category for players retired from regular basketball and wish to continue playing in high performance competitions against players in their age group.
In the UK, maxibasketball is also referred to as ‘masters basketball, but you will find the term maxibasketball more commonly used at international events. It’s divided into competition categories which rise in five-year increments, 30+, 35+, 40+, and so on.
GB maxibasketball is a world championship medal-winning programme that is supported by every national basketball governing body in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It caters for high level male and female players aged 35 and up. The GB maxibasketball programme is strategically recognised as part of the England Talent Pathway for junior to senior level players to achieve GB international honours.
The ambition is to provide players with a high-quality platform to continue playing basketball and competing at performance level through regular training and international events.
We’re currently preparing for the European Championships in Malaga, Spain!
When does the European Championship take place?
The FIMBA European Championship will start on 24 June!
How did you qualify?
Players are generally recruited as former national league, ex-international, and ex-professional players.
There was a rigorous selection process where players from across the home nations come to be put through their paces by elite coaches, who then base their selection on the performance levels required to potentially medal at the championships.
Do you play for a club team?
I currently coach and play for a London-based team called the London All-Stars. We just finished number one in the London Metropolitan Basketball League, whose focus is engaging and empowering women and girls into basketball and building an environment that supports the development of women in sport.
How does it feel to be representing Great Britain at an international sports tournament?
It feels amazing that I get this opportunity to represent GB at my age. I have played and coached basketball at a high level for many years and have been afforded so many positive opportunities through my love of sport. This is something that I can tick off my bucket list and add to the positive experience that I have in my memory bank.
To now play with players that I have played against over the years is truly inspiring. Especially seeing that we can still get up and down the floor and perform at a good and competitive level is a blessing.
It’s also empowering to the young girls I coach. For them to see me and other players still doing what they are just starting to do shows them the opportunities that are available to them if they continue to work hard.
I think the tournament will be super challenging. The teams at this European Championship will be talented. They’re joining from Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Latvia; all countries with a strong history of basketball talent, so we’ll have our work cut out for us. I hope all the training we’ve undertaken over the months will put us in the best position to come back with a medal – finger’s crossed!
Good luck Lisa and the team!