Teesside Lions admit they have hired Marc Steutel with one eye on joining the BBL.

The National Basketball League Division Three outfit, who served as interim head coach of Great Britain earlier this year, have pulled off a coup by putting the highly-regarded Englishman in charge.

The ambitious Lions now play out of a 1200 capacity venue and crowds of around 500 watching division three basketball in their first season.

The club is directed by former head coach James Thomson and local businessman Martin Anderson with Steutel another piece in their growth puzzle.

And he said: “They have shown me an ambitious, yet credible and achievable vision and it is genuinely exciting for me.

“I have known James and his abilities in basketball for many years and the meteoric strides Lions have made in just a short year are incredible. To attract crowds of 500 is yet another indication of something special happening at the club.

“The ambitions of James and Martin align with my own and I am looking forward to working with them. I am excited about the project, helping to develop the club and ultimately producing an exciting and successful brand of basketball here on Teesside.”

Thomson effectively sacked himself in the move to appoint Steutel, but is excited about the appointment of Marc.

“Marc is one of the most highly rated coaches in Europe. I enjoy coaching and will still play an active role in the coaching team with Marc, but this presents an incredible opportunity for the club and I am genuinely excited about where we are headed.

“It is an incredible pleasure to bring Marc to Teesside and this is just the beginning of an ambitious project.

“Last year we announced plans to bring professional basketball to the area, last season we developed a great event and attracted attendances of 500 and now we are unveiling the GB Coach as the new Teesside Lions Head Coach in spite of the Covid_19 pandemic.

“We want to show people that we are working hard behind the scenes to ensure when basketball returns we will be bigger and better than ever before. This appointment is the exclamation mark of that statement.”

When asked if he was not put off by the division Lions are in, Marc replied: “I have recently turned down jobs in Europe, BBL and the States, so I can see why it may surprise some people that I have chosen this offer.

“In all honesty, the project is really exciting and to help drive this from an early beginning is appealing.

“I trust James and Martin after the conversations we have had and all the ingredients are in place to deliver professional basketball at the highest level.”

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