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Lecturer and Former Students Help Welsh Team to Seventh Place in International Basketball Contest

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A University of Worcester lecturer and three former students have helped their team to seventh place in a major international tournament.

Welsh basketball players Sam Roberts, who has just finished his degree, and graduates Ben Potts and Damian Edwards competed at the European Championship for Small Countries.

Their assistant coach Alex Radu is Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching Basketball at the University of Worcester and Assistant Coach to the Worcester Wolves basketball team.

The Welsh side faced Armenia, who won the contest, Andorra, who finished second, Moldova, Malta and Gibraltar.

Sam and Damian played in the guard position, with Ben a power forward.

Mr Radu said the level of competition had been tough with some squads fielding professional players.

He added: “There was visible progress in the way that our team played from game to game but sometimes it was our inconsistency that kept us away from winning more than one game.

“We now have a strong foundation on which to build for future challenges.”

Sam, of Cowbridge, the Vale of Glamorgan, has just finished a three year course in sports studies and this was his first time in the Welsh men’s side, having played for the under 16s and under 18s.

“It was a hard tournament for us,” said the 20-year-old.

“The standard of play in Britain is not at the level of Europe so for us to adapt to that intense play was difficult.

“For me I learned a lot. I have gained more confidence to bring back to the UK by playing against such high quality opposition.”

Sam, who played in the University’s second team and Worcester Wolves national league division two side, is now focused on selection to take part in the Commonwealth Games in Australia in two years’ time.

Ben Potts, 31, of Worcester, who grew up in Wrexham, North Wales has played for his country for 15 years.

He first took a Higher National Diploma (HND) qualification at the University, which gave him the qualifications to go on to a degree in sports coaching science.

He played for the University’s basketball first team and Worcester Wolves professional side for seven years.

Now working as a personal trainer and tutor, he continues to play for the Worcester Bears, a non-professional West Midlands league side.

Damian, 26, of Harrow London, played for the University first team and the Worcester Wolves team for three years and has been playing for Wales since he was 22.

He did a joint honours degree in Sports Coaching Science and Physical Education and is now a teacher.

Picture: left to right: Kristaps Petrov (Head Coach) with players Damian Edwards (number 11), Ben Potts (number 12), Sam Roberts (number 5) and Alex Radu (Assistant Coach)

Picture Credit: Catalin Soare/sportaction.ro