After Canterbury’s most successful season in the EABL, which saw them play in two national semi finals, the EABL final four and U18 National Cup, seven seniors will be graduating and moving on.
Three players will be crossing the Atlantic Ocean in Tyrese Walters-Lawrence, Daniel Beard and Elliot Bailey. While Tunde Oyerinde is off to university in the UK and Jonathan Brown is attending Barking Abbey for his final year.
Jesse Sazant who head coached the 2017-18 season had this to say about the graduating group. “We are immensely proud of this group of players for what they have achieved while at Crusaders and the people they are. They committed to the programme, and more importantly put in a huge amount of work to improve themselves every day. I can’t wait to watch them continue to develop and grow this season.”
Tyrese has joined Bryant & Stratton College and flew out last week. His new coach Matt Majkrzak is excited to start coaching the athletic shooting guard, “I’m thrilled to have Tyrese join our school and basketball program. Basketball wise he’s exactly what we look for in a guard where he can space the floor with shooting and attack the basket with aggression. Our program wants guys that are great people off the floor, and tenacious and tough competitors on the floor. Tyrese fits that mould perfectly.”
Daniel Beard committed to Barstow Community College in California and will be flying out soon. He’s excited to get started saying, “It was my dream to play basketball in the States after my first competitive season of local league. I look forward to playing in one of the top JUCO leagues in the nation.”
Elliot Bailey joined the top programme in Canada, Carleton Ravens who have already beaten five top NCAA schools in their pre season. Elliot has been with them for 2 weeks now and commented on his new programme “Carleton is the definition of a winning programme, after every game so far the players and coaches in the locker room just talk about the need to be better. We have beaten some top division one schools and still they come in disappointed.” Elliot then talked about his experience in training so far, “In practice right now it’s a bit like my first year at Canterbury where I am just trying to adjust. In scrimmages nobody takes any mercy and I can’t take a play off otherwise I get scored on.”
After attending Canterbury’s partner Grammar School Simon Langton and being named an EABL all-star, Tunde Oyerinde will continue his academics at the University of Leicester and is yet to finalise where he will play his club basketball.
Last seasons U18 Head Coach Billy Beddow said, “Tunde’s growth on and off the court has been huge. He is a very intelligent young man and fun to be around. During his time with us he has matured in so many ways. He committed to changing his body but also changing how he thinks and plays. He was a loved teammate and a formidable opponent this year. We hope his growth continues and we are extremely excited to see what else he can achieve.”
After picking up EABL Eastern conference player of the year Jonathan Brown will play his third year in the league at Barking Abbey enabling him to play NBL Division One basketball and gain more exposure.
Newly appointed Canterbury head coach Adam Davies commented on JB’s move, saying, “This is 100% the right decision from JB. We are obviously losing a great player and gutted to see him go but he needs to be playing at the highest level possible and against players who can push him day in day out and at Barking he will get that.”
Other seniors graduating are Khen Caballero, who is searching for an electrical apprenticeship and Lorenzo Bagnadentro who was an exchange student and is going back to Italy.