Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders’ Basketball Academy at Burleigh Community College has received further recognition, with two young Riders being called up by England.
Harriot Ottewell-Soulsby is in the England Under-18 girls’ squad of 14, which has been announced by England Basketball for this summer’s European Championships, despite the fact that Harriot is just 16-years-old and still has another year between this and her age group.
Harriot joined the team from Germany and is now in her third year at Burleigh.
Brandon Hitchman has been named in the England Under-17 men’s squad. Brandon has joined the Rider’s AASE approved apprentice scheme at Burleigh, having moved over from Stratford-on-Avon.
The ASSE programme at Burleigh is run by the Riders’ Assistant Coach Phil Gleadell, who is also the Head of PE at the College, with support from Leicester Riders’ Head Coach Rob Paternostro and Riders’ Assistant Coach Lataryl Williams.
Following the announcement, Phil had nothing but praise for the young athletes, saying:
“Harriot has come on in leaps and bounds, and her achievement of being selected for England at Under-18, after playing at Under-16 level in the European Championships, is really tremendous. She is good enough to be training with the Riders Loughborough University Ladies, and I think that is really helping her development.
“Brandon also has made great progress in his short time with us and his recognition is well deserved.”
Both the Burleigh Under-17 boys, with Hitchman playing, and the Under-19 girls, with Ottewill-Soulsby in the team, have enjoyed recent important victories which have led to their respective teams going through to the quarter-finals of the National Championships.