BBL LOGO 568Bristol Flyers are to join the British Basketball League from 2014 after having their franchise bid accepted. 

The newcomers will continue in EBL Division One next season before moving up, having won the league title two years ago.

The side are overseen by Bristol Sport Ltd, who already work with Bristol City FC in the Football League, Bristol Rugby in the RFU Championship, along with its sponsorship via the Bristol City Community Trust of the Bristol Academy Women’s Football Club.

The club have established themselves as one of the most successful and well-supported community basketball clubs in the country outside of the BBL, securing promotion to National League Division 1 in 2007, becoming National Cup Champions in 2010 and being crowned as English Division 1 Champions in 2011.

Bristol Sport Chairman Martin Griffiths said: “The Flyers have already developed one of the best youth schemes and academy pathways in the country, and having performed so successfully in recent years at the top of the semi-professional leagues, it is right and proper they should be part of the UK’s premier professional basketball league.

“This new Bristol Flyers BBL franchise will give the city’s talented young basketball players and coaches the chance to develop and to shine at the national level. It’s great news for sport in Bristol, and I am delighted that Bristol Sport has been able to make it happen.”

Other teams could yet join in 2014, with Edinburgh thought to be in line to finalise a deal.

Andy Webb, BBL Chief Operating Officer, commented: “We are delighted to welcome the Bristol Flyers to the BBL. They are a perfect fit to extend our reach within the UK and, with the support of Bristol Sport, we believe all the building blocks are in place for a hugely successful franchise.”

A decision on Mersey Tigers’ future will come by July 1, when the new fixture list for 2013-4 will be finalised, although it is understood the Liverpool club are almost certain to remain.

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