Sixteen GB athletes will begin their club seasons in Spain this weekend, while senior and academy athletes will start or continue their seasons elsewhere in Europe including in BWB National League.
Nine of the 12 athletes who represented ParalympicsGB Men in Tokyo will play in Spain this season and they will return to competitive action for the first time since claiming Paralympic bronze when Spain’s Division de Honor gets underway on Saturday (9 October).
As in recent seasons, there will be a very British feel about the line-up at BSR Amiab Albacete when they begin their league campaign away at Fundacion Vital Zuzenak (18:00 BST). Harry Brown, Gaz Choudhry, Ben Fox, Lee Manning and Kyle Marsh are all back at Albacete this season, just a few months after helping the team to victory in the season-concluding Copa del Rey.
Despite 16 GB senior and academy athletes playing in Spain this season, the only GB head-to-head of the opening weekend will be in Burgos as Servigest Burgos host Mideba Extremadura. Charlotte Moore will play her first season abroad with Mideba, joining fellow Tokyo 2020 Paralympian Lewis Edwards – who has joined the Badajoz-based club from Iberconsa Amfiv – and Phil Pratt who returns for his fourth consecutive season at Mideba.
Abdi Jama is joined by Peter Cusack and Tyler Baines in Malaga with the GB trio representing Amivel Reyes Gutierrez this season. This will be Jama’s second season back playing alongside friend and former GB teammate Ade Orogbemi, who is an assistant coach at Amivel. They begin their season with a home game against BSR Ace Gran Canaria (17:00).
Terry Bywater and Gregg Warburton are continuing their stay in Spain’s capital with CD Ilunion. Their opening game against Iberconsa Amfiv (17:00) will mark the beginning of another season for Bywater at the Madrid club, while Warburton will begin his second season in the capital.
James MacSorley has switched the island of Gran Canaria for Bilbao where he will be playing for the reigning Division de Honor champions Bidaideak Bilbao BSR during the 2021/22 campaign. Last season’s winners begin their title defence against Fundacion FDI Las Rozas (15:00).
There’s no game for Simon Brown’s RSV Lahn-Dill in Germany this weekend, but Jim Palmer’s Rhine River Rhinos Wiesbaden travel to BG Baskets Hamburg on Sunday (14:00) looking to begin their season with back-to-back wins in RBBL1.
In BWB National League, there will be GB senior players across the Premier Division teams this season. Maddie Thompson impressed on her return to the Sheffield Steelers last weekend and the Steelers play London Titans on Saturday (12:30) with Jude Hamer representing the London club this season, along with Jack Perry. Lucy Robinson is also on the Steelers roster for the 2021/22 campaign, playing across both the Premier Division and Division 1 teams.
Kayla Bell, Siobhan Fitzpatrick and Sarah Hope are all part of the CWBA squad this season, as are Sam Mack and Tom Smith, who return from spells abroad. CWBA host Mohawks on Sunday in the Premier Division and The Bears in Division 1 South.
In France, Academy athlete Tom Barnes is back in action in France this weekend as his Gennevilliers team play Cercle Sportif de Meaux Basket Fauteuil in Nationale A.
Joy Haizelden has moved to the USA to begin her studies at the University of Alabama with their wheelchair basketball season beginning next Friday (15 October).
Sophie Carrigill, Ian Sagar and Oliver Griffith-Salter have to wait a couple more weeks before they begin their club seasons in Italy on 23 October. Carrigill and Sagar will both play for Briantea 84 Cantù, while Santo Stefano is the destination for Griffith-Salter.