Picture credit: Mansoor Ahmed: Head coach Liburd giving his team instructions.

By Milo Clay

Basketball coach Kenrick Liburd feels that it won’t be long before British women’s teams are able to compete in Europe. 

Liburd is head coach for the Nottingham Wildcats as well as working in the GB Basketball program.

Since moving back to England, Liburd feels that the WBBL has come on leaps and bounds.

He said: “I’ve been back in England about 6 years now and I think the league has improved all the time in terms of calibre of players, better standard of youth players and you’re seeing the national team improve.

“We’re starting to get players from the US back to our league and they’re really bolstering the league, you’re seeing the university system getting stronger here also.

“British kids are coming back and more are starting to build here.

“In terms of the product everyone is putting on the floor, the league is continuing to strive and also bring in good internationals.”

As the U18 head coach at GB Basketball and lead coach at the Perform Program at the NW Academy, Liburd can see first-hand the development across the country:

“We’re doing a lot over the last five years, I think we will get better as the structures improve.

“We’ve got a new structure in terms of the GB set up, things are happening that are going in the right direction and that’s why the Sport England money came in.”

Despite the advancements over the past few years, the GB coach admits there are still areas that need to improve.

“I think it’s building a feeling to improve our national program, we need to improve the way finance and monetise our sport,” he said.

“Because if we can do a good job financing women’s basketball and put a product out that people will sponsor, you then have a more solid standing and in the long run I don’t think it’ll be too long before you see our teams competing in Europe.

“I think a lot of it is going to be about discipline and organisation at all levels, whether its grass roots or elite.”

The Nottingham Wildcats have a profound set up in terms of facilities and Liburd understands that this isn’t the case for every team.

He said: “At Nottingham Wildcats we are blessed, we’ve had a working group in the Trust to build our own facility, which again makes us more stable than a lot of other places.”

The WBBL in Britain is continuing despite the current lockdown, with players undergoing regular testing each week.