Newcastle Eagles

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Newcastle Eagles
Newcastle Eagles logo
LeaguesBBL
Established1976; 43 years ago (1976)
HistoryEPAB Washington
1976–1977
Sunderland Sunblest
1977–1980
Sunderland Saints
1980–1983
Austin Rover Sunderland
1983–1984
Sunderland Maestros
1984–1985
Sunderland
1985–1986
Sunderland 76ers
1986–1990
Sunderland Saints
1990–1993
Sunderland Scorpions
1993–1995
Newcastle Comets
1995–1996
Newcastle Eagles
1996–present
ArenaEagles Community Arena, Scotswood Road, Newcastle
Capacity3,000
LocationNewcastle upon Tyne
Team coloursBlack, gold, white
Main sponsorEsh Group
Head coachFabulous Flournoy
OwnershipPaul Blake, Ken Nottage
Websitenewcastle-eagles.com
Uniforms

Newcastle Eagles, for sponsorship purposes Esh Group Newcastle Eagles, is a British Basketball League team based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Holding the franchise for Tyne & Wear, they are the most successful team in the league's history. The Eagles moved into their own purpose-built Eagles Community Arena on Friday 11 January 2019 when they hosted the Plymouth Raiders.[1]. Their traditional arch rivals are the Glasgow Rocks, however in recent years a rivalry with the Leicester Riders has also developed.

Franchise history[edit]

Early years and move to Tyneside[edit]

The club's roots can be traced back to the founding of EPAB Washington in 1976. The club played in Sunderland under various monikers throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, managing a second place league finish in 1983, as well as two play-off victories at Wembley in 1981 & '83.[2] In 1995, the owner Dave Elderkin moved the club to Newcastle, to be known as the Newcastle Comets.[3] Soon afterwards the club was bought by Sir John Hall, then the chairman of Newcastle United, adding them to his Newcastle Sporting Group of the city's football, ice hockey and rugby teams. Hall's Sporting Club group was considered by most observers to be a relative failure and upon its dissolution, Ken Nottage and Paul Blake became the Eagles' new owners. The final name change, from the Comets to the Eagles, took place in 1996. Performances remained consistent with the club achieving regular top five league placings from 1998 onwards.

The "Clean sweep" of 2005–06[edit]

The 2005–06 season proved to be the most successful in their history so far when, under the guidance of player/coach Fabulous Flournoy, the club achieved a "clean sweep" of trophies, including the BBL Cup, BBL Trophy and Championship "double".

In addition, Flournoy picked up the BBL Coach of the Year and former Villanova Wildcat, Andrew Sullivan, was voted BBL Player of the Year. Flournoy, Sullivan and Andrew Bridge were also members of the bronze medal winning England team in the 2006 Commonwealth Games during March 2006.

Recent Times[edit]

At the start of the 2007–08 season it was announced that Nike and Northern Rock were to sponsor the Eagles, bringing in more money to the club. Also, the signing of Richard Midgley gave great hope that the eagles could challenge Guildford Heat to regain the BBL League title. However, after a bust up with player/coach, Fab Flournoy he soon left to join the Everton Tigers. This meant there was no point guard and this led to the signing of Bryan Defares who could not settle in England and he too left. Finally, at the third attempt, Steve Leven (former NBA prospect) was signed despite his bad boy reputation. After defeat in the BBL Cup, then later defeat in the BBL Trophy Final the Eagles were in danger of having a poor season. Fortunately, after a miraculous overtime win against Guildford Heat, they won the BBL League Title.

At the start of the 2008–09 season they were strengthened by the signing of Trey Moore from Cheshire Jets. After an indifferent start, they embarked on a 17 match winning run to become the first team for nearly two decades to retain the BBL title, finishing 8 points ahead of Everton Tigers. They also reached the semi-finals of the BBL Cup, losing narrowly to Everton Tigers on aggregate before gaining revenge by beating them home and away in the BBL Trophy semi-final. The Eagles beat Guildford Heat at The Spectrum in the Final. In the play-offs they narrowly avoided an upset after seeing off Cheshire Jets 88–83 before beating Plymouth Raiders to form a match against Everton Tigers once again. Despite 30 points from ex-Eagles Richard Midgley, the Eagles held on for a 97–94 win, therefore winning the treble to cap off their most successful season since the clean sweep.

In the 2009–10 season the Eagles again retained the BBL title, finishing 2 points ahead of Sheffield Sharks. The league title actually came down to the last game of the season with Sheffield Sharks losing their last game of the season 97–95 to Worthing Thunder thanks to Evaldas Zabas' basket 4 seconds from the end. This completed the double for the Eagles who had won the BBL Trophy by beating 111–95 in the Final at The Spectrum. In the BBL Cup Eagles lost 64–61 in the quarter-finals to Cheshire Jets and in the play-offs Everton Tigers beat the Eagles 190–158 on aggregate in the two legged semi-final.

At the start of the 2010–2011 season it was announced that the Esh Group, along with partners Northumbria University and Northumbrian Water would be the new main sponsors of the Eagles.[4] In the BBL Cup the Eagles were beaten 204–182 on aggregate by the Mersey Tigers in the semi-finals. Eagles had won the first leg at home 97–90 but lost the second leg away 114–85. It was the Mersey Tigers who would beat the Eagles in the semi-finals of the BBL Trophy also. After a rare first leg draw (82–82) away from home, the Eagles went down 77–74 at home.

The "Clean sweeps"[edit]

The club repeated the feat of 2005–06 by winning all of the trophies on offer in a season for a second time 2011–12. The previous season was the first time since 2003–04 that they had failed to win a trophy. They lost 7 league games, 3 less than in 2005–06, although this time around they were only required to play 30 games, 10 less than in 2005–06. They clinched the clean sweep with a victory over Leicester in the play-off final on 12 May. And their hat-trick of sweeps was completed in 2014–15 with all four major prizes.

Home Arenas[edit]

Metro Radio Arena (1995–2010)
Sport Central (2010–2018)
Eagles Community Arena (2019 – present)

Season-by-season records[edit]

Season Division Tier Regular Season Post-Season Trophy Cup Head Coach
Finish Played Wins Losses Points Win %
Sunderland 76ers
1987–1988 BBL I 12th 28 8 20 16 0.286 Did not qualify 1st round (LT) Quarter-final (NC) Dave Elderkin
1988–1989 BBL I 6th 20 12 8 24 0.600 Lost in Quarter-final to Bracknell Tigers, 0–2 (series) 1st round (LT) 1st round (NC) Craig Lynch
1989–1990 BBL I 3rd 28 20 8 40 0.714 Lost in Final to Kingston, 82–87 Semi-final (LT) Runner-up (NC) Craig Lynch
Sunderland Saints
1990–1991 BBL I 2nd 24 18 6 36 0.750 Lost in Final to Kingston, 72–94 1st round (LT) Winners (NC) Craig Lynch/Dave Elderkin
1991–1992 BBL I 10th 30 3 27 6 0.100 Did not qualify 1st round (LT) 3rd round (NC) Dave Elderkin
1992–1993 BBL I 11th 33 6 27 12 0.181 Did not qualify 1st round (LT) 3rd round (NC) Dave Elderkin
Sunderland Scorpions
1993–1994 BBL I 10th 36 13 23 26 0.361 Did not qualify 1st round (LT) Quarter-final (NC) Dave Elderkin
1994–1995 BBL I 13th 36 4 32 8 0.111 Did not qualify 1st round (LT) 4th round (NC) Dave Elderkin
Newcastle Comets
1995–1996 BBL I 10th 36 11 25 22 0.440 Did not qualify Quarter-final (LT) 4th round (NC) Tom Hancock
Newcastle Eagles
1996–1997 BBL I 7th 36 21 15 42 0.583 Lost in Quarter-final to London Towers, 1–2 (series) 1st round (LT) Semi-final (NC) Tom Hancock
1997–1998 BBL I 3rd 36 25 11 50 0.694 Lost in Quarter-final to London Towers, 1–2 (series) Semi-final (LT) 4th round (NC) Craig Lynch
1998–1999 BBL I 5th 36 21 15 42 0.583 Lost in Quarter-final to London Towers, 1–2 (series) Quarter-final (LT) Semi-final (NC) Craig Lynch
1999–2000 BBL N I 6th 36 10 26 20 0.277 Did not qualify Quarter-final (LT) 1st round (NC) Craig Lynch
2000–2001 BBL N I 3rd 36 20 16 40 0.555 Lost in 1st Round to Birmingham Bullets, 75–80 Runner-up (LT) Quarter-final (NC) Tony Garbelotto
2001–2002 BBL N I 3rd 32 17 15 34 0.531 Lost in Quarter-final to Brighton Bears, 101–102 (OT) Quarter-final (BT) Quarter-final (NC) Tony Garbelotto
2002–2003 BBL I 5th 40 25 15 50 0.625 Lost in semi-final to Brighton Bears, 83–88 Semi-final (BT) Quarter-final (NC) Fab Flournoy
2003–2004 BBL I 6th 36 18 18 36 0.500 Lost in Quarter-final to London Towers, 94–96 1st round (BT) Quarter-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2004–2005 BBL I 2nd 40 31 9 62 0.775 Winners in Final against Chester Jets, 78–75 Winners (BT) Quarter-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2005–2006 BBL I 1st 40 30 10 60 0.750 Winners in Final against Scottish Rocks, 83–68 Winners (BT) Winners (BC) Fab Flournoy
2006–2007 BBL I 3rd 36 25 11 50 0.694 Winners in Final against Scottish Rocks, 95–82 Runner-up (BT) Semi-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2007–2008 BBL I 1st 33 29 4 58 0.878 Lost in semi-final to Milton Keynes Lions, 63–72 Runner-up (BT) Runner-up (BC) Fab Flournoy
2008–2009 BBL I 1st 33 28 5 56 0.848 Winners in Final against Everton Tigers, 87–84 Winners (BT) Semi-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2009–2010 BBL I 1st 36 31 5 62 0.861 Lost in semi-final to Everton Tigers, 158–190 (agg) Winners (BT) Quarter-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2010–2011 BBL I 2nd 33 24 9 48 0.727 Lost in semi-final to Sheffield Sharks, 154–166 (agg) Semi-final (BT) Semi-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2011–2012 BBL I 1st 30 23 7 46 0.733 Winners in Final against Leicester Riders, 71–62 Winners (BT) Winners (BC) Fab Flournoy
2012–2013 BBL I 2nd 33 25 8 50 0.758 Lost in Final to Leicester Riders, 68–57 Quarter-final (BT) Runner-up (BC) Fab Flournoy
2013–2014 BBL I 1st 33 28 5 56 0.848 Lost in Final to Worcester Wolves, 78–90 Quarter-final (BT) Runner-up (BC) Fab Flournoy
2014–2015 BBL I 1st 36 31 5 62 0.861 Winners in Final against London Lions, 96–84 Winners (BT) Winners (BC) Fab Flournoy
2015–2016 BBL I 2nd 33 28 5 56 0.848 Lost in Quarter-final to Cheshire Phoenix 187–191 on aggregate Runner-up (BT) Winners (BC) Fab Flournoy
2016–2017 BBL I 2nd 33 23 10 46 0.697 Lost in Final to Leicester Riders, 63–84 Quarter-final (BT) Winners (BC) Fab Flournoy
2017–2018 BBL I 3rd 33 22 11 44 0.667 Lost in Quarter-final to Bristol Flyers, 163–157 (agg) Quarter-final (BT) Quarter-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2018–2019 BBL I - 25 17 8 34 0.680 - Quarter-final (BT) Semi-final (BC) Fab Flournoy

Club records[edit]

Accurate as of 7 October 2014 (Includes BBL Championship games only)

  • 3 pts scored – Russ Saunders 716
  • Assists – Fabulous Flournoy – 1,528
  • Blocked shots – Fabulous Flournoy – 320
  • Defensive rebounds – Fabulous Flournoy – 1,497
  • Field Goals scored – Charles Smith – 1,621
  • Free Throws scored – Charles Smith – 761
  • Games Played – Fabulous Flournoy – 393
  • Offensive Rebounds – Darius Defoe – 894
  • Personal Fouls – Fabulous Flournoy – 1,075
  • Points – Charles Smith – 5,897
  • Steals – Fabulous Flournoy – 605
  • Total Rebounds – Fabulous Flournoy – 2,139
  • Turnovers – Fabulous Flournoy – 910

Trophies[edit]

League[edit]

  • BBL Championship Winners: 2005–06, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2014–15 7
  • BBL Championship Runners Up: 1990–91, 2004–05, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2015–16, 2016–17 6
  • WBBL Championship Runners Up: 2015–2016

Playoffs[edit]

  • BBL Championship Play Off Winners: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15 6
  • BBL Championship Play Off Runners Up: 1989–90, 1990–91, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2016–17 5
  • WBBL Championship Play Off Winners: 2015–2016

Trophy[edit]

  • BBL Trophy Winners: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12, 2014–15 6
  • BBL Trophy Runners Up: 2000–01, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2015–16 4

Cup[edit]

  • BBL Cup Winners: 1990–91, 2005–06, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17 6
  • BBL Cup Runners Up: 1989–90, 2007–08, 2012–13, 2013–14 4

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

The following information is established according to the official websites of the team (www.newcastle-eagles.com) and Britain's top professional league, the BBL (www.bbl.org.uk).

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Newcastle Eagles roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht.
G 2 United Kingdom Yabantu, Themba 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
G 4 United States Smith, Jeremy 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
F 7 United States Moses, Victor 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
C 13 United Kingdom Defoe, Darius (C) 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
G 16 United Kingdom Matthew, Eddie 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
F 20 United Kingdom United States Flournoy, Fabulous 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
G 21 United Kingdom United States Lasker, Andrew 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
F 22 United Kingdom Canada Williams, Jamal 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
F 23 United Kingdom Canada Williams, Kai 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
G 32 United Kingdom United States Williams, Kyle 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
G 44 United States Fletcher, Rahmon 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
  • United Kingdom David Forrester
  • United Kingdom Ian MacLeod
  • United Kingdom Eric Wilson

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: 5 October 2018

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Newcastle Eagles Women roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht.
G 3 Switzerland Simioni, Giulia 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
F 6 Bulgaria Aksentieva, Kalina 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
G 8 Canada Bland, Rachael
G 9 New Zealand Lewis, Keziah 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
F 10 United Kingdom Price, Maya 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
G 12 Australia Ohrdorf, Georgia 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
G 14 New Zealand Lewis, Adoniah 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
F 15 United States United Kingdom Gandy, Stephanie 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
F 21 United States Bonenberger, kara 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
G 99 Lithuania Morkunaite, Gerda 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
F 23 Cyprus Themistokleous, Panagiota 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Head coach

Chris Bunten

Assistant coach(es)

Jack Honour


Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Notable former players[edit]

To appear in this section a player must have either:

– Set a club record or won an individual award as a professional player.
– Played at least one official international match for his senior national team at any time.

Head Coach[edit]

Stats correct up to and including 8 August 2018

Name From To Regular season Play-offs Cup Trophy Total Win % Notes
W L W L W L D W L W L %
United Kingdom Dave Elderkin 1987 1988 8 20 0 0 1 1 3 3 12 24 50.00%
United States Craig Lynch 1988 1990 32 16 1 3 1 2 6 12 40 33
United Kingdom Dave Elderkin 1991 1995 26 109 0 0 1 4 3 9 30 122 19.74%
United States Tom Hancock 1995 1997 32 40 1 2 3 2 2 7 38 51 42.70%
United States Craig Lynch 1997 2000 56 52 2 4 2 3 11 10 71 69 50.71%
United Kingdom Tony Garbelotto 2000 2002 37 31 1 2 2 2 10 5 50 40 55.55%
United States Fabulous Flournoy 2002 present 417 137 38 15 32 13 1 58 16 545 181 76.60%

Retired numbers[edit]

  • 5 TJ Walker, Guard, 2000–2007
  • 10 Charles Smith, Forward, 2000–2016

Hall of Fame[edit]

  • TJ Walker 2000–2007
  • Lynard Stewart 2007–2010

Staff[edit]

Player/Coach – Fab Flournoy

Assistant Coaches – Ian MacLeod, Dave Forrester, Eric Wilson

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Basketball's Newcastle Eagles to play in front of capacity crowd at Eagles Community Arena". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Sunderland basketball stars reflect on glorious team". Jake Harrison. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Sunderland basketball stars reflect on glorious team". Jake Harrison. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Sky's the limit for Newcastle Eagles". Bdaily Business Network Northeast. Retrieved 20 March 2011.