Newcastle basketballer Tosan Evbuomwan and his Princeton University team claim the Championship Trophy at Inaugural London Basketball Classic, presented by Inspirus Sports
The inaugural London Basketball Classic came to a thrilling end at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday night as Princeton University Tigers came out victorious over Northeastern University Huskies and claimed the tournament trophy to take back to their university.
The first half of the final game was dominated by Northeastern University, however in the second half Princeton bounced back with the help of Newcastle native and NBA prospective Tosan Evbuomwan –who was later named the tournament MVP – Ryan Langborg, Keeshawn Kellman and Xaivian Lee. A key highlight of the game for local fans was the homecoming of British player, Newcastle native Tosan, who wowed fans – including his friends and family who got the opportunity to see him play for his US-based university and help his team lift the championship trophy this week.
“We’re really pleased, this is a first-class event, and I can’t wait to tell other people about it,” said Princeton Head Coach Mitch Henderson. “It’s a cool thing to be able to be here in London. This is a really impactful trip for our program and I’ll never forget it.”
Commenting on the important role Tosan has played in Princeton’s program Henderson added, “Tosan is a very unusual player and we feel fortunate that he’s at Princeton. As good of a player as he is, he is unselfish, humble, and is a terrific student and striving at Princeton academically, too. He’s also willing to get better – he knows he wasn’t perfect tonight – and he’s got to work at his game, and that’s great when one of your best guys is pushing us to get better.”
Reflecting on his experience playing with Princeton in London Tosan added, “I’m really appreciate of everything – it means a lot to be able to play here. The team’s been through a lot this season and I’ve been through a lot with injuries, so I’m just thankful for this experience. It’s great to see what college hoops is like for the young people aspiring to get there. This is our team’s second time going abroad this year, and it’s a real team bonding experience.”
Rounding off the two-day, tournament Marc Mulholland, Executive Director of the London Basketball Classic presented by Inspirus Sports added, “We are so proud of the effort put in by all four teams who took part in the London Classic, presented by Inspirus Sports. From the players who brought everything they had to the court, to the coaching staff and support teams who agreed to play an important season game in London and travelled with their teams, to fans who came from as far as the USA and as close as London to fill the Copper Box Arena and cheer on their teams, we are truly inspired by the passion and support showed by all involved.”
Featuring a line-up of teams including the MAAC’s Manhattan College, Boston’s Northeastern University, Princeton University from New Jersey and Army West Point, local basketball fans were treated to back-to-back games for the inaugural London Basketball Classic. In addition to playing two basketball games each, student athletes were also offered a unique opportunity to connect with young people in local schools, offering them insight into the life of a college athlete in America and inspiring the to pursue their passions to the fullest extent, basketball or otherwise. The school visits were especially impactful for Tosan, who developed through Britain’s grassroots basketball programmes before being accepted to Princeton University and being recruited for their team.
Speaking about his experience visiting young pupils at London’s Bobby Moore Academy with West Ham United Foundation Tosan said, “I’m super thankful that we were able to do that. It was me not too long ago, so we were fortunate that we got the opportunity to go and speak to the kids.”
Following the success of the Dublin Basketball Classic held last week and previous Belfast Classic tournaments held pre-pandemic, the inaugural London Basketball Classic, presented by Inspirus Sports, was organised as an opportunity to showcase the high level of talent in American college basketball and inspire young players in Britain to pursue this fast-growing sport whilst growing awareness of the opportunities that sport can bring, including studying in prestigious colleges and universities across
For more information about the London Basketball Classic visit https://www.inspirussports.com/.