Denzel Ubiaro, Tola Okiki and Josh Palmer will all return to the BBL set up for the 2019-20 season. The three players are current undergraduate students at Plymouth Marjon University and will continue to study alongside their association with the BBL side and the University BUCS team.
The Marjon Basketball Programme, coached by BBL lead assistant Danny Magee achieved an unbeaten season this year picking up a Varsity win, a Cup Final win and promotion to Western BUCS 1A with the ambition of another successful season ahead. With their efforts on the court this season and their inclusion in the BBL programme for the next, Denzel, Josh and Tola have been awarded Marjon Elite Athlete status from Plymouth Marjon University.
With all three of his current players returning to the professional set up BUCS Head Coach and BBL lead assistant Danny Magee said: “It is fantastic to engage student’s in the professional programme and develop our domestic players alongside a degree pathway.
“This is a professional development phase, a post-18 sporting and education platform, of which last season the three thrived in, bringing great value and contribution to the Raiders programme and Marjon academic institution.
“They’re selfless, competitive and growth minded student-athletes and Plymouth Marjon University ambassadors, of whom we’re excited to see progress and build on last season’s successes”.
Denzel will enter his third year with Raiders and will continue to study Sports Therapy BSc (Hons) at Marjon. Throughout this season Denzel continued to impress Coach James finishing the BBL season averaging 5.6 points and an on court time of 17.2 minutes per game. Also studying Sports Therapy BSc (Hons) Tola Okiki moves into his second year with Raiders and Marjon after leading the line at point guard for Marjon Basketball this season. Josh Palmer also entering his second year with the Marjon Basketball Programme and Raiders will continue to study his Business BSc (Hons) degree along side playing in the BUCS and BBL set up.
The Plymouth Marjon University students became crowd favourites at the Pavilions this year and impressed Coach James more and more as the season progressed. When injury stuck the team mid way through the season the students all took their opportunity and proved their worth out on the court not looking out of place matching up against some of the BBL’s best.
With the excitement of the relationship of Marjon and Raiders blossoming and the opportunity to help young players develop Head Coach Paul James said: “I’m delighted that Denzel, Tola and JP will be back with the squad for the coming season.
“We are very committed to developing young British talent and all three student athletes played a big part in the success of the BBL team last season.
“I look forward to their continued development and progress as athletes with the BBL team and scholars at Marjon University”