Monday 29 April 2019
Its double honours for Solent University’s basketball team, Team Solent Kestrels, who are celebrating winning both the Division 1 Men’s Playoffs and regular season titles this season.
The Kestrels overcame Worthing Thunder in the NBL Division 1 Playoff Final with an impressive 100-81 victory on Sunday 28 April.
Matt Bishop, Head of Sports Programmes at the University and Team Solent Kestrels Chairman said: “A ‘Double Winning’ season is good at any level but to do this at the top level in the UK is incredible. Too many people to thank in one moment but yesterday was about the whole club and the players and coaching staff did their bit and the fans and supporters did theirs. This past seasons basketball results will be significant for the club and for the University as we look ahead to next season in our fantastic new building where I’m sure we’ll push on and further establish ourselves as one of the top basketball clubs in the UK.”
Every player on Solent’s eight-man roster gained at least one basket, but it was Travis Charles who picked up the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award after scoring a game high of 25 points and tacking on 10 rebounds.
“It’s been a long road, coming from the States and being recruited to come here, it’s all a blur. This feels so good, man. It’s not just me though, I got Playoff Final MVP but it was really a team effort,” said Charles.
The South coast derby was fiercely contested at the NBPC in Manchester, between the top two division 1 men’s teams from the regular season.
Both teams began the match with a high intensity and saw the score tied into the second quarter before The Kestrels took a small lead over Worthing going into half time.
Solent retained their minor lead after the third quarter and showed their resilience in the final quarter of the match to complete an historic double win for the University side coached by Matt Guymon. “We want to keep getting bigger and better,” said Matt. “The Division 1 Men is a fraction of what we can do. We’re moving into a brand new facility next year, so we really want to grow our community with the Division 1 team in there, but also for the whole club, for it to become a hub as a pathway for players in our region.”
Photo credit: Basketball England