Over the past six months I have had to make some hard decisions regarding my involvement with and the future of the Cheshire Jets BBL team. Due to new career responsibilities I spend long periods travelling outside of the North West. With this in mind I am no longer in a position to continue to lead the running of the Jets BBL Pro team. Once this was decided I sat down with the rest of the management team and we started the process of approaching individuals who we felt could steer the club to future successes.
This weekend the Jet’s will continue their turnaround season in the playoff semi-finals against BBL Regular Season Champion Newcastle Eagles. With the away leg being played in Newcastle on Friday, the men in black will return to the Northgate on Sunday to finish the series:
Jets Vs. Eagles – Friday 4th May @ 7.30pm
Jets Vs. Eagles – Sunday 6th May @ 5.30pm
The importance of this game is not to be overlooked, and American Centre Matthew Schneck had this message for the fans:
“After what they’ve accomplished this year and in years past, we look at the Newcastle Eagles with a lot of respect. I think that their current situation, is the direction the community and those in our front office are hoping our club can eventually head. In order to do that, you’ve got to compete in big games like this weekend. There have been few times throughout the season where the spotlight has been on us, so it’s time to perform. We’ve had a great turn-around, and an enjoyable past month, but there is more we as a unit would like to accomplish. Heading into the game we’re the underdogs, which takes the pressure off a little bit, and after a good practice last night, you can tell our mindset is what it needs to be. We’re hoping to give back to the fans this weekend. And hoping that they will come out to support us both away in Newcastle and on Sunday at the Northgate.”
Support your Cheshire Jet’s and buy matchday tickets HERE.
As the Jets get ready to face Worcester Wolves in the playoff quarter-finals tomorrow we caught up with Adam Brown to ask about the team’s preparation and, more importantly, what are those mohawks all about!?
“They started as a joke at first,” Adam says. “Then became a team bonding type of thing. We were all just chilling and Colin asked Bill if could he give him a Mohawk. Bill said “let’s do it” and Colin started acting like he was cutting him one, but I grabbed the clippers and took off half his hair. There was no turning back after that.”
“Bill’s looked decent,” Adam continued. “So I cut Colin’s next, then gave myself one. I recently gave Kai Williams one as well, but Matt went to the barber to get his.”
This story says less about Adam’s barber skills than it does about the Jets’ team chemistry and how they all get along off the court. “We all get along very well on this team – there’s lots of laughter and good times,” says Adam. “Also we all can talk too each other on the court without having attitudes, which is a huge difference from other teams I have been on.”
After a generally frustrating season the Jets are hitting form right when it counts – playoff time – and the challenges and obstacles they’ve faced as a team during the season have brought them closer together, which is now showing on the court. “This season has been nothing short of frustrating,” agreed Adam. “We have all come from winning programs and are used to winning, so losing hasn’t been normal for us. I believe we have one of the most talented teams in the league as individuals and team wise, so the struggle we have had was surprising. Having five guys to play a whole game while others have 8 to 10 players was a challenge in itself, but all excuses aside we should have done better.”
A run of four straight wins (and six out of seven) heading in to the playoffs could hardly have been better preparation to launch an assault as the dark horses of the playoffs. “ Our team chemistry is at a season high and were playing great basketball,” admits Adam. ”Our confidence in our team is very high right now and will remain like this throughout the playoffs. We are at the peak of our performance as a team and individually, so we do believe we will make a run in the playoffs.”
The first hurdle in the playoff run is a trip to Worcester to face the Wolves in the quarter-finals – a team the Jets have struggled with this season. “Our team is playing the best basketball we have played all year and even though the Wolves have beaten us three times we are confident we can play with them and will give them a run for their money,” says Adam. “Losing is never the plan when the Cheshire Jets step on the floor.”
The Jets visit Worcester tomorrow (Saturday 28th April) in the BBL Playoff quarter-final first leg, with the second leg on Sunday 29th April at the Northgate [buy tickets].
From Indiana to Cheshire via San Antonio, Adam Brown has waited along time to achieve his dream.
Exclusive by: WILL PIPER
SINCE signing for the Cheshire Jets in September last year there has been just one player’s name on every fan’s lips… Adam Brown.
The man fresh out of the University of Houston has exploded in the BBL in recent weeks, scoring 23 points and making 6 assists in the 83-72 win over Mersey Tigers a fortnight ago, before single-handedly destroying the MK Lions with 31 points and 10 rebounds in an 85-76 victory. And on Sunday against league leaders Newcastle Eagles he scored 17 points and inspired a comeback for his side in the fourth-quarter but it wasn’t enough as the Eagles grounded the Jets 95-82.
Prior to Sunday’s defeat against Newcastle, the Jets had snapped a seven game losing streak by beating the Tigers and followed that up with victories over the Lions and the Glasgow Rocks, which meant the Jets soared above Guildford Heat into the eighth and final play-off spot.
Despite the loss to the Eagles the Jets remain in the final play-off spot, but with the Heat and Tigers hot on the heels the Jets will be looking anxiously over their shoulders. And although their three-game win streak is over, Brown is still confident the Jets will finish in the play-offs and make a serious challenge for the Championship.
“It was disappointing to have lost to Newcastle but I think we can write that one off, they are a great team. We are a team in form at the minute having won three of our last four games. The play-offs are definitely our main aim, I wouldn’t settle for anything less, but we can’t be losing against the lower teams like we were at the start of the year, we need to get the business done.
“We have just strengthened the squad with the signing of Kai Williams and he looked good against Newcastle. Hopefully he will help us get those three or four more wins that I think we need to keep a firm grip on the play-offs. But obviously we will try and win every game and push further up the league”.
Brown’s consistently high performances have made him a fans’ favourite at Cheshire this season. He was named in the BBL Team of the Week two weeks running earlier this month and is also regarded by many as one of the best players in the league. And while he is proud of his individual achievements, Brown insists his focus is on winning as a team.
“I’m really pleased to have been named in the BBL Team of the Week and I’m grateful that my performances have been recognised. But for me it’s more important to win things with my team than individual achievements, my focus is always on the team”.
Brown has now settled in Cheshire and is enjoying living his dream of playing professional basketball. But things haven’t always been as good for the guard.
Born in 1988, Brown was raised by his mother in Indiana, America. At this time Indiana was a difficult place to live, rife with crime and violence, and Adam had a difficult upbringing. When he was 13 his cousin was killed. Just a young boy with dreams of playing professional basketball but now he had motivation to achieve his goal and move his family away from the dangers in Indiana.
“Indiana was a tough place to grow up”, said Brown, “It was a placed filled with violence and a lot of shootings. We would hear gunfire everyday, there weren’t many days that you wouldn’t hear it, it’s weird to say but I guess we just got used to living like that, I wouldn’t want to go back there.
“It was easy to get involved with all the madness but I tried to avoid it as best I could. Basketball provided a way out for me, a way to escape. I wanted to get my family out of it all too and that has always been motivation for me to succeed as a basketball player”.
And succeed he has. Since joining the Jets, Brown has become the first-choice point-guard in Coach Paul Smith’s team and is also the man his team look to for inspiration. But although Brown has made it now, he never forgets his roots in Indiana or the difficult path he had to take in order to achieve his dream.
When he was 15 Brown moved to San Antonio to live with his father. He attended Winston Churchill High School before moving on to college in Dallas. Here he met Coach James Sigona who would become an inspiration and a friend to Brown throughout the rest of his career. Brown then moved to the University of Houston where he played Division 1 Basketball against the likes of current Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans.
Brown took off with no problems in Houston, and in his senior year ranked among the Conference USA individual leaders in scoring (19th), field goal percentage (15th) and 3-point field goal percentage (4th). After graduating from Houston with a degree in Sociology, Brown wanted to keep playing Basketball and had offers to play from teams across Europe but chose the Cheshire Jets because they offered him a good opportunity to start again.
“I knew I wanted to come play for the Jets. They offered me the chance to play 40 minutes a night and also let me play as a point-guard. I had always played as a shooting-guard and curbed my game around players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, but now with the Jets I’m playing more at the point and I enjoy that. I play a game similar to that of Steph Curry at Golden State Warriors”.
Now 23 years old, Adam has only seen his family from Indiana once in the last eight years. And he says that while it is hard being away from the people he loves for so long, he has no regrets.
“I miss my family like crazy just as anyone else would, but I don’t regret moving to play basketball in England. At the time it was the right decision for me and now I have a career and some stability”.
Still a young man, Brown has a long career in basketball ahead of him. But for Adam, he has already achieved much more than most players by defying the odds to achieve his dream of playing professional basketball.
Let’s hope he keeps it up with the Jets!
Make sure you don’t miss Adam and the rest of the Jets at their next home game against the Plymouth Raiders on Sunday 11th March. Tip-off at 5:30pm.
ONE man who knows about building a successful team is Paul Smith.
As a player and a coach he has won plenty of silverware and the former Cheshire Jets head coach has thrown his support behind the man who replaced him last year, John Lavery.
The Jets recently went on a seven-game run without a win, which saw some fans voice concerns about the club making the BBL Championship play-offs. But a run of three successive victories has lifted the gloom – and Smith believes Lavery is on the right track and may even bring silverware to Chester this season.
“People tend to judge a coach on wins and losses but that’s not always a fair thing to do,” said Smith. “This is John’s first year, he’s doing it on his own and there’s a seriously tight budget, which is right in this economic climate.
As the Jets claimed victory for the third straight weekend in a down to the wire contest over the Glasgow Rocks, the playoffs are beginning to look more of a possibility. Which again allows us to use our weekly throwback to visit collegiate basketball in early 2011, as March Madness neared for Division 1 Houston and Jets current PG Adam Brown.
If you missed it’s introduction last week, over here at the Jet’s front office, we’ve decided to share the past experiences of some of your favorite players to dress in black and yellow this season. Every Wednesday, we’ll turn back the clock and share with you newspaper clippings from a current’s players previous organization. We hope that you’ll further get to know the young men that represent your community in the basketball world. [read more]
It’s certain that every athlete in the BBL has taken a different path to land themselves in England’s premier basketball division. However, as ink hits paper on their first professional contract, player’s collegiate/club career often turns into a quick synopsis included in a yearly expanding Eurobasket biography. Over here at the Jet’s front office, we’ve decided to share the past experiences of some of your favorite players to dress in black and yellow this season. Look for a weekly throwback, and further get to know the young men that represent your community in the basketball world.
With two consecutive wins, the Jets look primed to make a push for the playoffs and as such this article from Feburuary 06,2011 penned by Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune seemed the perfect fit. A little over a year ago, 42,000+ Illinois students sat on edge, as Hine outlined Bill Cole and the Fighting Illini’s desire for March Madness, the collegiate version of the post-season.