Crusaders promoted to Division One

Picture of Medway Park Crusaders OJ Reed in actionMedway Park Crusaders men have been promoted to the England Basketball League (EBL) Division One for the 2011/12 season.

The news follows the club's most successful season in their history, capped off with victory in the Division Two Play-off final in Manchester.

The Crusaders finished fourth in the league, but battled their way through to the national play-of finals, where they saw off Westminster Warriors in a hard-fought match to win the trophy by 75 points to 72 .

OJ Reed finished his first year as a professional basketball player by taking the honours as the most valuable player with a 28 point, 14 rebound double-double, adding four assists and five steals.

Speaking after the game, he said: "This season has been the best in club history, with the first finals win, and it feels good to be a part of that and be rewarded with the MVP award, but it's more thrilling for me to help veteran players like Harris, Betts, Lyons and Dimandja bring in a championship. My efforts were rewarded with the MVP award, but it's team oriented for me.
 
"I've been working extra hard on and off court trying to lead by example, and I have big goals for myself, but this win was a team goal and we reached it. Great guys, great experience."
 
Crusaders' veterans Sam Betts, Damian Lyons and James Harris received the cup together. Betts said: "I wanted everyone to lift the cup as a team because this year we have been the most 'together' team I've been on!
 
"It felt great to win the first major trophy for the club; everyone has put so much in this year and in past years so it's great to finally have some silverware to show for it. This season has been tough for me playing only half the season due to injuries and my teammates helped me keep positive."
 
Lyons added, "This is a great achievement for the team. It's a fitting reward for all of the players, coaches and supporters who have put in so much hard work not only this season but over the past few years to help build the club up to where it is now."
 
The 2011/12 season will begin in September. For a full list of the EBL Division One clubs visit the England Basketball website (www.englandbasketball.co.uk/).
 
For more information about the Crusaders, visit www.medwayparkcrusaders.co.uk
 
Back to April 2011 news.