Sports Scholar and Biological Sciences student Chris Page in action against Southampton Solent

University basketball looks to earn its stripes

The University of Exeter has recently teamed up with National League Basketball outfit Taunton Tigers in a partnership that could yield huge benefits for both sides.

Amongst their coaching staff, the Tigers boast Tom Kambouris as their Head Coach.

Tom, originally from the USA where he spent 10 years playing before taking up coaching, earned his qualifications in Spain where he was with CB Almunecar in internationally renowned Premier Provinciale league. On the newly formed partnership between the University of Exeter and The Tigers, Tom commented “We have a truly formidable development plan and have done extraordinarily well so far (with Taunton Tigers) almost entirely with home-grown talent”.

Tom is currently the Sports Performance Coordinator at Richard Huish College in Taunton. He hopes that by teaming up with the University the Tigers will be able to broaden their recruitment and attract talented players to the club, from all over the world via the University.

Three University of Exeter students have already broken into the Tigers’ ranks with Josh Lemin, Fabio Acampora and Chris Page proving an asset to the National League club. Chris, a 6’ 5” American, has just started at the University of Exeter on a Sports Scholarship where he is completing a one year MSc course with the Biosciences in Aquatic Biology. He was selected for his Sports Scholarship from a shortlist of around 20 talented basketball players from all over the world. As part of this scholarship, Chris receives dedicated Sports Science and Strength and Conditioning support from the University’s High Performance Programme at the University’s Sports Park. Chris’s presence is also proving to be good news for the local community as he has taken up basketball coaching at Exeter College and Bishop Fox’s Community School in Taunton.

Nick Beasant, Assistant Director of Sport (Performance and Competitions) at the University is excited that the agreement with the Tigers provides a link-up with a local club competing at a national level. He said “It gives a clear pathway for our performance athletes and encourages them to think beyond the Exeter and District League. It’s also a great opportunity to broaden our international recruitment at post-graduate level, an area we hope to continue to progress in over future years.”

He added, “Discussions are also ongoing with Tom about establishing closer links between Richard Huish College and the University, which holds many exciting prospects for both institutions.”

The existing agreement also sees Tom taking a leading role in coaching the University’s basketball team. It is hoped that his knowledge and experience at the highest levels of the game will yield positive results for Exeter in their inter-university competition, British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS).

Date: 30 November 2009