Legend retires, Deng Camper returns, Kings look to youth for success

Edinburgh Kings

Portobello High School, Edinburgh –

Farewell to King Campbell

City of Edinburgh has been one of Scotland’s most successful clubs in recent years. Boasting consistent high finishes in the league, as well as a Playoff and Scottish Cup win this year throughout all teams.  The Senior Men claimed Cup and Playoff victory. Also their Women’s side winning the SBC and making finals, along with all junior teams making finals. With 5 teams involved in Playoff finals in 2017-18, it was a successful season for the club. Last year, The under 18 women went undefeated all season long, claiming the SBC treble, League, Cup and Playoffs. The U16&18 Men were also competing in England, in the Basketball England League, where success was found down south too, winning their league and making noise in the English Playoffs as well as finishing 3rd in SBC.

City of Edinburgh’s Elite

The Edinburgh based club has also been successful in producing some elite level talent. This season was of particular note as Scotland’s Men team headed to the Gold Coast with Kyle Jimenez as well as Coach Craig Nicol. Edinburgh has also produced Pollyanna Storie who was named in the Youth GB squads and is undoubtedly one of the best players in the country at the moment. Storie will also be leaving the club to focus on her WBBL career – everyone at the club wishes her well.  Owen Mackle was also involved with the GB squad, getting an invite to training camp also along with Coach Craig Nicol. Kristaps Timermanis was invited down to Loul Deng’s Deng Camp, in London as the only player who currently plays in Scotland. Also involved with Deng was former King, Konrad Kantorski, who finished ranked #8 in the UK by Deng after the 2017-18 season.

A farewell

The big news coming out of Edinburgh is that club legend Paddy Campbell is hanging up the sneaks for the last time as he says farewell to Basketball as a player. Campbell, 37, has been not only been in Scottish Basketball, but a loyal King, for 22 years.

A servant to the game, fiercely loyal as he has only dawned the purple of Edinburgh in SBC. In those 22 years of loyalty, Paddy has captained the Kings and claimed 9 League titles, 9 Scottish Cup and won the Playoffs 4 times. A trophy cabinet in human form.

2018 Commonwealth Games athlete Kyle Jimenez is also departing the club as he tries his own hand down south, studying at Loughborough University, Basketball is sure to be a part of day to day life as he plays for Loughborough Riders.

The last remaining from Paddy’s junior days, Simon Flockhart said,

“Paddy and I have been ballin alongside each since 2001 at Kings and are the last of a generation so not having him on the court and around now is a bit strange.”

Campbell helped Flockhart through the senior ranks at the club, Flockhart puts it down to Paddy’s natural ability and Basketball IQ;

“He has always been a fun character to have around and had a lot of experience and basketball smarts which not only helped me but also the younger guys coming through into the senior ranks. Paddy has achieved a lot at kings over the years which is all down to his natural ability and consistency over the years.”

Watch Paddy’s highlights below

Paddy Campbell Highlights 2017/18

Kings SM vet Paddy Campbell has been on fire this season! Check out his highlights!

Publiée par City of Edinburgh Basketball Club sur Mardi 13 mars 2018

Watch Kyle Jimenez ball out for Kings and Scotland below

Looking to youth

Returning this year from last years Cup and Playoff winning squad are seniors Ali MacKay and Calum Nicol along with long standing veterans Simon Flockhart and Garreth Lodge. Flockhart brings with him a wealth of knowledge of championship seasons claiming league and cup titles with Falkirk and multiple medals with the Edinburgh side.

Flockhart weighed in with his thoughts for the season ahead, saying

“As for the season ahead at Kings, we are looking solid and have a good young core as well some good experienced players.”

“We aim to secure the National league championship again which hasn’t been at Kings since 2012. Consistency and focus every game will be key.”

“We are working hard in practice and had a decent start to the campaign going 2-0 but we need to continue to improve and keep that trajectory going upwards as we defend our Scottish Cup and Playoff Championship from last season as well.”

Another returnee for Kings this season is a product of their youth system, Konrad Kantorski. Kitting up for Myerscough Academy the last 2 seasons in England hooping in the EABL and The English National League, Kantorski was one of the standout players.

As reported on The Church of Hoops, Kantorski finished ranked 8th in the 2017-18 Deng rankings after posting lights out numbers, ranking first for FT% (90.00) and 3PT % (44.1), 8th for Assist to Turnover ratio (2.1) and 9th in True Shooting % (56.7) in the EABL. Konrad also won 3 consecutive Scottish titles with the club in his youth tenure before heading south.

Edinburgh told The Church of Hoops that they will be looking to include more of their u23 players that are ready to make the next step. Speaking ahead of the Kings’ first game of the season, head coach Craig Nicol told cityofedinburghbasketball.net,

“Paddy and Kyle are two big losses for us this season, both played vital roles for us last year in a successful season where we won two out of three national titles.”

Speaking on the season ahead, Nicol said,

“I’m really looking forward to seeing what this team can do, we’ve added a real offensive threat in bringing Konrad back and we’ll be using our speed and depth of players from the whole squad to hopefully give us a chance to not just defend the two we won but add the Scottish league title this season.  

“We’ve got some great young players in Neil Rowan, Rory Milne and Ryan Armour who have all shown last year they can play at this level and when you add that to the experience of Ali Mackay, Calum Nicol and Garreth Lodge then we’re going to be a handful for any team this year. We have a lot of different weapons on both ends of the floor.”

City of Edinburgh opened their Men’s season at home to Stirling Knights last week. A matchup that was certainly a fiery one last season finished with the home side controlling the fixture and claiming a 73-51 victory. This result showing that the youth are ready for the senior game.