Bradford Dragons’ Zion Tordoff and Eisley Swaine were both in action for England under 16’s at the weekend, in the annual, post-Christmas Haris Memorial Tournament at the Amaechi Basketball Centre in Manchester.
Hosted by National Basketball League Division One side Manchester Magic, the tournament is an annual holiday event which pays tribute to Haris Charalambous, one of the top players to come out of the Magic youth programme and who died suddenly while training with his NCAA Division 1 Toledo University team in October 2006.
Entered at short notice, the England under 16’s found the going tough, losing all but their final game – beating Irish team Sligo All Stars to finish seventh overall, whilst England under 18’s beat Boulazac in the third and fourth place playoff. The final was contested between the two American sides, with Tilton finishing as this year’s tournament champions.
Reflecting on the weekend, Swaine said "It was a fantastic experience not only did I get to represent my country, I also got to experience other teams that the different countries produced. I think as a team we have a way to go, but we are very talented and hardworking and I am looking forward to building on the experience.”
Tordoff added "It was an amazing experience over the Christmas break, against quality teams who are older, faster and stronger. I have learnt a lot through this tournament and hopefully it will show when I go back to Dragons to work even harder and smarter to be a better player."
Both players will be hoping to be included in the final cut of 12 players to represent England in the European under 16’s Championships, to be held in August 2015.
Bradford Dragons are currently enjoying a short break over the Christmas and New Year period but will be returning to action in the Dragons Den with a home double header weekend against Manchester Magic on Saturday 10th January, followed by the National Trophy quarter final match up against Kent Crusaders the following day.