Head coach of Sunderland City Predators, Brian Calder, says National League basketball “is going through a transitional period.”

He said: “University linked teams are getting stronger – especially teams in division one where they are in a position to offer scholarships and bursaries, to players from across the country and even aboard.”

Team Sunderland Predators logo newCalder added: “We are not trying to emulate what happened in earlier years, we are just trying to bring National League basketball to the area for local players who are at a better standard than local leagues, while developing the links between community and a university based team.”

Sunderland City Predators also have one eye on the future with their junior program.

“[It] is up and running, but the players that we have got there, there’s a lot of work to be done before they can move through to senior basketball then compete at national league,” said the Predators coach.

He also added: “There are some talented kids for their age, but we have to increase that pool of talented players to create a team that can compete in national league.”

The Predators head coach said: “One or two individuals might be able to achieve that level but to expect 12 or 15 players in the next two or three years might be unrealistic.”