London Lions are ready to welcome Italian side Aquila Basket Trento to the Copper Box Arena on Tuesday (October 18) in their first home game of the 2022/23 EuroCup season.
The fixture marks a historic moment for British basketball as it represents the first game in the prestigious European competition to be played in the UK since 2007.
The game will be broadcast live on BT Sport 1 at 7.30pm with BT Sport recently agreeing an exclusive broadcast rights package which will see them show all of the London Lions’ EuroCup fixtures this season.
British basketball fans will be able to see the London team in action against Europe’s elite in prime-time slots across BT Sport 1,2,3 and 4 as Lions look to bounce back from a valiant 76-59 loss at Hapoel Tel Aviv in their first game in the competition.
The team have some injury worries going into the game with two of their star players, Sam Dekker and Kosta Koufos, being forced off in the game against Hapoel Tel Aviv – although the latter returned to the court and finished the game.
It is testament to the growth of British basketball in recent years that the Lions will host two of their home games at the OVO Arena Wembley against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica on November 1 and Hapoel Tel Aviv on January 11.
The London team has assembled a star-studded roster with a hybrid of homegrown tier-one talent, in addition to ex-NBA and further international signings, with the diverse squad boasting an abundance of experience playing in major basketball leagues around the world.
The signings of Great Britain internationals Kareem Queeley, Mo Soluade, Ovie Soko and Luke Nelson give the Lions a strong homegrown core which is supplemented by the experience of players such as Koufos, Dekker and Vojtech Hruban.
“Having the opportunity to compete in the EuroCup is an honour and huge step for our organisation as well as British basketball,” said head coach Ryan Schmidt.
“Being able to represent the BBL and the UK on such a big international stage is something we take a lot of pride in and are looking forward to.
“This is an exciting time for basketball in this country and now to be able to bring high-level teams to London from all over Europe for this competition is something we hope people will get behind and support.
“We want to go out and play a brand of basketball that our supporters enjoy watching and represent the city of London in the best way. If we do this, then I’m certain the results will follow.
“It will be tough balancing the schedule between domestic games and the EuroCup but I feel like we have the depth we need to endure the challenge and we’re looking forward to it all.
“When you look at the roster and the new signings we’ve brought in, it’s hard not to get excited about the potential of this team. However, we have to put it all together as a team in order to accomplish what we want.
“What stands out more than anything to me is the character and competitive nature of them all. Each one of these guys is coming in from a different team, different situation and they’re all here to win. This isn’t about them, but more importantly the team and that has been very clear with how they’ve approached the pre-season.”