Aug
25

Banton excited for opportunity to grow

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Build a model; test it; showcase its success; and they will come.

Lancashire had five Myerscough-based players aged 18 or under, including the team’s fourth leading scorer and rebounder, on the 2015-16 team that reached the playoffs as the seventh-seed.

Two received athletic scholarships from NCAA Division I universities in the United States, one will attend Loughborough University and play for the British Basketball League’s Leicester Riders, whilst Zion Tordoff, 17, has returned to the Spinners.

Incoming point guard James Banton will be the latest to benefit, joining Ayo Nuwe and David Walsh.

“Seeing players come out of the Myerscough programme, not only better, stronger and more skilled, but in a position to move on to bigger and better opportunities every year is an exciting prospect,” said Banton, who will also attend the Bilsborrow-based College.

“I believe this is the right move at this point in my career, as it is the best place for me to improve and, ultimately, achieve my long-term goals.”

The new partnership with Myerscough and its Basketball Academy cemented the club’s commitment to providing young players a chance to grow and play at the highest level of the sport.

And that reputation hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“The Spinners’ set-up is an environment built for young players like myself to thrive in,” said Banton. “I really trust Neal [Hopkins] as a coach and believe the he will put me in situations that will help me develop. The opportunity to play here with some great British and European players is something I am very excited about.”

A natural scoring guard, who averaged 18.5 points over two years with Allerton (Leeds Force) of the Elite Academy Basketball League, the 18-year-old has subjected himself twice a day to gruelling weight room and gym sessions.

“I want to become a better creator and learn how to run a team even as a younger player on the team,” he said. “I’ve been working on refining my skills – shooting, ball handling and passing – to become a more effective as a playmaker.”

Banton scored 52 points for Leeds Force U18s against his former junior club Bradford showcasing his 3-point range and ability to attack the rim or defender, as well as his consistency to find open space on the floor.

And he’s ready to bring that attack mentality to Bury.

“I’ve played with and against some of the guys currently on the team,” he started. “With the talent we have, we have a great chance of doing well this year.”

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