There’s a new name in Milton Keynes basketball, but it comes from a familiar face.
Mike New, former coach of MK Lions, is still very much part of MK College’s basketball academy, and has launched his new venture to get even younger players involved in the sport.
MK Trojans will not only incorporate the hugely successful academy side, but will take youngsters from U13 through the age groups.
“The Trojan brand is all about introducing basketball to people who aren’t familiar with the sport,” New said.
“It’s fun for everyone of all ages. We want to promote team-play, good sportsmanship, and our talent in Milton Keynes.
“It’s my dream come true. I don’t get home to Chicago half as much as I want to, but this is my way of giving back to where I live.
“The Trojan logo is my idea, it’s something I’ve come up with.
“To have the Trojans representing Milton Keynes is a dream come true for me.
“It’s very important to have a club set up for the right reasons. We want to identify talent, and develop it.
“The idea is to identify the talent from grassroots level, and from there, introducing them to the development system with the college.”
Working in association with the basketball academy at MK College, where New is the coach, is likely to be the ideal pathway for the stand-out players in the junior ranks to aim for.
And New’s influence over that squad has seen them take three national championships at junior level, as well as a host of professional stars too.
He said: “We’ve had six England and GB players, six professional players and players who have earned scholarships in American colleges.
“The academy is from 16-19. You have to be a student of the college to be part of that.
“We have a team for participation, a team for competition and a team for elite competition.
“That’s what we’re trying to promote with the academy. The team has done outstanding at elite level.
“One thing that MK College can be proud is that we’ve knocked down all sorts of barriers.
“You can study anything and play for us, from catering to engineering.
“We’ve got a very strict ‘no pass, no play’ policy. None of our students can fall behind their target grades.
“And we train at 7am to get them disciplined. It appeals to different types of kids.”
Trojans trials are taking place throughout May, with anyone invited to take part in a two hour session at Bletchley Campus Courtside.
For youngsters aged 14 and under, trials are held between 5-7pm on Thursday.
Trials for 15 and over are on Friday 5-7pm, Saturday 1-3pm and Sunday 11-1pm.