WHAT started as a just a few guys in a youth centre playing pick-up games has become a sprawling basketball club pushing up the country’s basketball structure.
Swindon Shock now boast a national league team, development teams, a womens and a wheelchair team and having pooled resources with Swindon Cavaliers as Swindon Basketball Club to combine to more than 200 members.
The story of Swindon Shock’s ascension from nowhere is all the more impressive considering the club only started in 2009.
Shock’s national league team have been steadily improving, this year finishing fifth in the Division Four Midlands South West but founder, coach and starting forward David Colclough sees no reason why the club cannot climb up through the league structure to the British Basketball League.
Colclough believes the club’s rapid rise shows the demand for his sport in the area is huge.
“It started when I was running the StreetGames project, going to disadvantaged areas in Swindon and delivering free games. I went into the (Youth First) Youth Centre and guys there asked if I could start a team,” Colclough told the Advertiser.
“I think there is a big call for basketball in Swindon, every year we get people asking us to start to another team.
“I think the thing about it is it’s a cheap sport, all you need is a ball, a pair of trainers and somewhere to play.”
However Shock also have designs on providing a platform for players who they think have the talent to take their to the States.
Colclough himself played NCAA standard college basketball for Humboldt State and because of his knowledge of the American high school and college systems believes Shock can provide a pathway to Swindon’s youngsters they might not have considered before.
“I think in the long run the aim to get them into US colleges, so they know it’s not just about playing here you can go State-side if you really want to.”
In the short term Colclough’s main aim for the club is to keep building itself up in Swindon and spread the word about basketball.
“I think it is important to get Swindon behind us and the people behind us, we’re still trying to build that base.
“I think as long as we stay in touch with the community and do some more after school clubs, get parents watching it can grow.”
If you would like to get involved with Shock visit the club’s website: www.swindonshock.com.