Newcastle Eagles

The Newcastle Eagles are a professional basketball team based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Newcastle Eagles
Newcastle Eagles logo
LeaguesBBL
Established1976; 46 years ago (1976)
HistoryEPAB Sunderland
1976–1977
Sunderland Sunblest
1977–1980
Sunderland Saints
1980–1983
Austin Rover Sunderland
1983–1984
Sunderland Maestros
1984–1985
Sunderland
1985–1986
Sunderland 76ers
1986–1990
Sunderland Saints
1990–1993
Sunderland Scorpions
1993–1995
Newcastle Comets
1995–1996
Newcastle Eagles
1996–present
ArenaVertu Motors Arena
Capacity3,000
LocationNewcastle upon Tyne
Team coloursBlack, gold, white
Main sponsorNewcastle Foodbank
Head coachIan Macleod
OwnershipPaul Blake, Ken Nottage
2021/22 position9
ChampionshipsMen:
7 BBL Championship
7 BBL Playoffs
6 BBL Cup
7 BBL Trophy
1 English National Cup
Woman:
1 WBBL Playoffs
Websitenewcastle-eagles.com

Playing in the top-tier British Basketball League and holding the franchise for Tyne & Wear, they are the most successful team in the League's history.

The Eagles moved into their own purpose-built arena, the Eagles Community Arena, in January 2019 when they hosted the Plymouth Raiders.[1] Their traditional arch rivals are the Glasgow Rocks, however in recent years a rivalry with the Leicester Riders has also developed.

The Northumbria Northstars cheerleading team provide the cheerleaders known as the Eaglettes.

Franchise historyEdit

Early years and move to TynesideEdit

The club's roots can be traced back to the founding of EPAB Washington in 1976. The club played in Sunderland at the Crowtree Leisure Centre under various monikers throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, managing a second place league finish in 1983, as well as two play-off victories at Wembley in 1981 & '83.[2] In 1995, the owner Dave Elderkin moved the club to Newcastle, to be known as the Newcastle Comets.[2] Soon afterwards the club was bought by Sir John Hall, then the chairman of Newcastle United, adding them to his Newcastle Sporting Group of the city's football, ice hockey and rugby teams. Hall's Sporting Club group was considered by most observers to be a relative failure and upon its dissolution, Ken Nottage and Paul Blake became the Eagles' new owners. The final name change, from the Comets to the Eagles, took place in 1996. Performances remained consistent with the club achieving regular top five league placings from 1998 onwards.

The "Clean sweep" of 2005–06Edit

The 2005–06 season proved to be the most successful in their history so far when, under the guidance of player/coach Fabulous Flournoy, the club achieved a "clean sweep" of trophies, including the BBL Cup, BBL Trophy and Championship "double".

In addition, Flournoy picked up the BBL Coach of the Year and former Villanova Wildcat, Andrew Sullivan, was voted BBL Player of the Year. Flournoy, Sullivan and Andrew Bridge were also members of the bronze medal winning England team in the 2006 Commonwealth Games during March 2006.

Recent TimesEdit

At the start of the 2007–08 season it was announced that Nike and Northern Rock were to sponsor the Eagles, bringing in more money to the club. Also, the signing of Richard Midgley gave great hope that the eagles could challenge Guildford Heat to regain the BBL League title. However, after a bust up with player/coach, Fab Flournoy he soon left to join the Everton Tigers. This meant there was no point guard and this led to the signing of Bryan Defares who could not settle in England and he too left. Finally, at the third attempt, Steve Leven (former NBA prospect) was signed despite his bad boy reputation. After defeat in the BBL Cup, then later defeat in the BBL Trophy Final the Eagles were in danger of having a poor season. Fortunately, after a miraculous overtime win against Guildford Heat, they won the BBL League Title.

At the start of the 2008–09 season they were strengthened by the signing of Trey Moore from Cheshire Jets. After an indifferent start, they embarked on a 17 match winning run to become the first team for nearly two decades to retain the BBL title, finishing 8 points ahead of Everton Tigers. They also reached the semi-finals of the BBL Cup, losing narrowly to Everton Tigers on aggregate before gaining revenge by beating them home and away in the BBL Trophy semi-final. The Eagles beat Guildford Heat at The Spectrum in the Final. In the play-offs they narrowly avoided an upset after seeing off Cheshire Jets 88–83 before beating Plymouth Raiders to form a match against Everton Tigers once again. Despite 30 points from ex-Eagles Richard Midgley, the Eagles held on for a 97–94 win, therefore winning the treble to cap off their most successful season since the clean sweep.

In the 2009–10 season the Eagles again retained the BBL title, finishing 2 points ahead of Sheffield Sharks. The league title actually came down to the last game of the season with Sheffield Sharks losing their last game of the season 97–95 to Worthing Thunder thanks to Evaldas Zabas' basket 4 seconds from the end. This completed the double for the Eagles who had won the BBL Trophy by beating 111–95 in the Final at The Spectrum. In the BBL Cup Eagles lost 64–61 in the quarter-finals to Cheshire Jets and in the play-offs Everton Tigers beat the Eagles 190–158 on aggregate in the two legged semi-final.

At the start of the 2010–2011 season it was announced that the Esh Group, along with partners Northumbria University and Northumbrian Water would be the new main sponsors of the Eagles.[3] In the BBL Cup the Eagles were beaten 204–182 on aggregate by the Mersey Tigers in the semi-finals. Eagles had won the first leg at home 97–90 but lost the second leg away 114–85. It was the Mersey Tigers who would beat the Eagles in the semi-finals of the BBL Trophy also. After a rare first leg draw (82–82) away from home, the Eagles went down 77–74 at home.

Modern eraEdit

 
Rahmon Fletcher was one of Eagles star players, with three won BBL Cup MVPs

The club repeated the feat of 2005–06 by winning all of the trophies on offer in a season for a second time 2011–12. The previous season was the first time since 2003–04 that they had failed to win a trophy. They lost 7 league games, 3 less than in 2005–06, although this time around they were only required to play 30 games, 10 less than in 2005–06. They clinched the clean sweep with a victory over Leicester in the play-off final on 12 May. A hat-trick of sweeps was completed in the 2014–15 season.

Eagles Community ArenaEdit

In January 2019, the Eagles moved into their own purpose-built arena on the Scotswood Road.[4] Success did not follow them there at first, as they crashed out of the BBL Trophy, BBL Cup and BBL Playoffs without reaching any finals, and finished 3rd in the BBL for the second consecutive season.

On the night of their first preseason game ahead of the 2019-20 British Basketball League season, the club was rocked by the announcement that head coach Fabulous Flournoy would leave the club after 17 years. Flournoy would join the Toronto Raptors, the then-defending NBA champions, as an assistant coach, reuniting with his friend and mentor Nick Nurse, who gave him his first professional contract with the Birmingham Bullets in 1996. Assistant coach Ian MacLeod was announced as his interim replacement as head coach.[5]

Home venuesEdit

Season-by-season recordsEdit

Seasons 1976-1996
Season Division Tier Regular Season Post-Season Trophy Cup Head Coach
Finish Played Wins Losses Points Win %
EPAB Sunderland
1976–1977 NBL2 II 4th 20 13 7 26 0.650 N/A N/A (NC)
1977–1978 NBL2 II 1st 20 20 0 40 1.000 N/A N/A (NC)
Sunderland Sunblest
1978–1979 NBL I 7th 20 7 13 14 0.350 Did Not Qualify N/A (NC)
1979–1980 NBL I 6th 18 9 9 18 0.500 Did Not Qualify N/A (NC)
Sunderland Saints
1980–1981 NBL I 4th 18 11 7 22 0.611 Winners, beating Crystal Palace, 96-92 N/A Semi-final (NC)
1981–1982 NBL I 3rd 22 16 6 32 0.727 Runners-up, losing to Crystal Palace, 86-111 N/A Quarter-final (NC)
Sunderland Saints/Maestros
1982–1983 NBL I 2nd 24 18 6 36 0.750 Winners, beating Crystal Palace, 75-74 N/A Quarter-final (NC)
Austin Rover Sunderland
1983–1984 NBL I 5th 36 23 13 46 0.638 Did Not Qualify N/A Semi-final (NC)
Sunderland Maestros
1984–1985 NBL I 9th 26 12 14 24 0.461 Did Not Qualify N/A 1st Round (NC)
Sunderland
1985–1986 NBL I 13th 28 8 20 16 0.285 Did Not Qualify N/A Quarter-final (NC)
Sunderland 76ers
1986–1987 NBL I 10th 24 7 17 14 0.291 Did Not Qualify N/A 2nd Round (NC)
1987–1988 BBL I 12th 28 8 20 16 0.286 Did Not Qualify 1st Round (LT) Quarter-final (NC) Dave Elderkin
1988–1989 BBL I 6th 20 12 8 24 0.600 Quarter-final 1st Round (LT) 1st Round (NC) Craig Lynch
1989–1990 BBL I 3rd 28 20 8 40 0.714 Runner-up, losing to Kingston, 82-87 Semi-final (LT) Runner-up (NC) Craig Lynch
Sunderland Saints
1990–1991 BBL I 2nd 24 18 6 36 0.750 Runner-Up 1st Round (LT) Winners, beating Leicester, 88–81 Craig Lynch
Dave Elderkin
1991–1992 BBL I 10th 30 3 27 6 0.100 Did Not Qualify 1st Round (LT) 3rd Round (NC) Dave Elderkin
1992–1993 BBL I 11th 33 6 27 12 0.181 Did Not Qualify 1st Round (LT) 3rd Round (NC) Dave Elderkin
Sunderland Scorpions
1993–1994 BBL I 10th 36 13 23 26 0.361 Did Not Qualify 1st Round (LT) Quarter-final (NC) Dave Elderkin
1994–1995 BBL I 13th 36 4 32 8 0.111 Did Not Qualify 1st Round (LT) 4th Round (NC) Dave Elderkin
Newcastle Comets
1995–1996 BBL I 10th 36 11 25 22 0.440 Did Not Qualify Quarter-final (LT) 4th round (NC) Tom Hancock
Season Division Tier Regular Season Post-Season Trophy Cup Head Coach
Finish Played Wins Losses Points Win %
Newcastle Eagles
1996–97 BBL I 7th 36 21 15 42 0.583 Quarter-final 1st round (LT) Semi-final (NC) Tom Hancock
1997–98 BBL I 3rd 36 25 11 50 0.694 Quarter-final Semi-final (LT) 4th round (NC) Craig Lynch
1998–99 BBL I 5th 36 21 15 42 0.583 Quarter-final Quarter-final (LT) Semi-final (NC) Craig Lynch
1999–00 BBL N I 6th 36 10 26 20 0.277 Did Not Qualify Quarter-final (LT) 1st Round (NC) Craig Lynch
2000–01 BBL N I 3rd 36 20 16 40 0.555 1st Round Runner-up (LT) Quarter-final (NC) Tony Garbelotto
2001–02 BBL N I 3rd 32 17 15 34 0.531 Quarter-final Quarter-final (BT) Quarter-final (NC) Tony Garbelotto
2002–03 BBL I 5th 40 25 15 50 0.625 Semi-final Semi-final (BT) Quarter-final (NC) Fab Flournoy
2003–04 BBL I 6th 36 18 18 36 0.500 Quarter-final 1st round (BT) Quarter-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2004–05 BBL I 2nd 40 31 9 62 0.775 Winners, beating Chester, 78–75 Winners, beating Brighton, 85–60 Quarter-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2005–06 BBL I 1st 40 30 10 60 0.750 Winners, beating Scottish, 83–68 Winners, beating Leicester, 71–50 Winners, beating London, 83–69 Fab Flournoy
2006–07 BBL I 3rd 36 25 11 50 0.694 Winners, beating Scottish, 95–82 Runner-up (BT) Semi-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2007–08 BBL I 1st 33 29 4 58 0.878 Semi-final Runner-up (BT) Runner-up (BC) Fab Flournoy
2008–09 BBL I 1st 33 28 5 56 0.848 Winners, beating Everton, 87–84 Winners, beating Guildford, 83–71 Semi-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2009–10 BBL I 1st 36 31 5 62 0.861 Semi-final Winners, beating Cheshire, 115–95 Quarter-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2010–11 BBL I 2nd 33 24 9 48 0.727 Semi-final Semi-final (BT) Semi-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2011–12 BBL I 1st 30 23 7 46 0.733 Winners, beating Leicester, 71–62 Winners, beating Plymouth, 184–177 agg. Winners, beating Plymouth, 115–94 Fab Flournoy
2012–13 BBL I 2nd 33 25 8 50 0.758 Runners-up Quarter-final (BT) Runner-up (BC) Fab Flournoy
2013–14 BBL I 1st 33 28 5 56 0.848 Runners-up Quarter-final (BT) Runners-up (BC) Fab Flournoy
2014–15 BBL I 1st 36 31 5 62 0.861 Winners, beating London, 96–84 Winners, beating Leicester, 96–90 Winners, beating Glasgow, 84–71 Fab Flournoy
2015–16 BBL I 2nd 33 28 5 56 0.848 Quarter-final Runners-up (BT) Winners, beating Leicester, 94–82 Fab Flournoy
2016–17 BBL I 2nd 33 23 10 46 0.697 Runners Up Quarter-final (BT) Winners, beating Glasgow, 91–83 Fab Flournoy
2017–18 BBL I 3rd 33 22 11 44 0.667 Quarter-final Quarter-final (BT) Quarter-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2018–19 BBL I 3rd 33 21 12 42 0.636 Quarter-final Quarter-final (BT) Semi-final (BC) Fab Flournoy
2019–20 BBL I Regular Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic Winners, beating Solent, 96–94 OT Quarter-final (BC) Ian MacLeod
2020–21 BBL I 4th 30 18 12 36 0.600 Winners, beating London, 68–66 Quarter-final (BT) Winners, beating London, 84-77 Ian MacLeod
2021–22 BBL I 9th 27 10 17 20 0.370 Did Not Qualify 1st Round (BT) Group Stage (BC) Ian MacLeod

Club recordsEdit

Accurate as of 7 October 2014 (Includes BBL Championship games only)

  • 3 pts scored – Russ Saunders 716
  • Assists – Fabulous Flournoy – 1,528
  • Blocked shots – Fabulous Flournoy – 320
  • Defensive rebounds – Fabulous Flournoy – 1,497
  • Field Goals scored – Charles Smith – 1,621
  • Free Throws scored – Charles Smith – 761
  • Games Played – Fabulous Flournoy – 393
  • Offensive Rebounds – Darius Defoe – 894
  • Personal Fouls – Fabulous Flournoy – 1,075
  • Points – Charles Smith – 5,897
  • Steals – Fabulous Flournoy – 605
  • Total Rebounds – Fabulous Flournoy – 2,139
  • Turnovers – Fabulous Flournoy – 910

TrophiesEdit

LeagueEdit

  • BBL Regular Season Winners: 2005–06, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2014–15 7
  • BBL Regular Season Runners Up: 1990–91, 2004–05, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2015–16, 2016–17 6
  • WBBL Championship Runners Up: 2015–2016,

PlayoffsEdit

  • BBL Championship Play Off Winners: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2020–21 7
  • BBL Championship Play Off Runners Up: 1989–90, 1990–91, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2016–17 5
  • WBBL Championship Play Off Winners: 2015–2016,

TrophyEdit

  • BBL Trophy Winners: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2019-20 7
  • BBL Trophy Runners Up: 2000–01, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2015–16 4

CupEdit

  • BBL Cup Winners: 2005–06, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2020–21 6
  • BBL Cup Runners Up: 2007–08, 2012–13, 2013–14 3
  • English National Cup Winners: 1990–91 1
  • English National Cup Runners Up: 1989–90 1

PlayersEdit

Current rosterEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA-sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.


Newcastle Eagles roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht.
SG 2   Person Jr., Wesley 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
PG 4   Yabantu, Themba 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
SG 6   Johnson, Corey 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
SF 9   Kandé, Sauveur 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
SF 12   Sayers, Louis 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
PF/C 13   Defoe, Darius (C) 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
PF 22   Peel, Brandon 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
SF 24   Gordon, Justin 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
PF 26   Johnson-Thompson, Daniel 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
C 27   Shelton, Duke 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
SG 32   Williams, Kyle 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
PG 44   Fletcher, Rahmon (C) 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  •   Injured

Updated: 6 February 2022

Female rosterEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA-sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.


Newcastle Eagles roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht.
F 0   Cipcic, Dora 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
C 3   Gaynor, Chloe 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
PG 4   McVicar, Maddy 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
F 5   Fernandez, Marina 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
G 7   Eadsforth-Yates, Jessica 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
G 8   Bland, Rachel 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
G 9   Lowe, Abby 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
G/F 10   Horton, Ebony 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
G 11   Kelshaw, Niamh 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
F 13   Popovic, Anna 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
G 14   Chuckwu-Etu, Orieoma 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  •   Injured

Updated: 28 November 2019

Notable former playersEdit

To appear in this section a player must have either:

– Set a club record or won an individual award as a professional player.
– Played at least one official international match for his senior national team at any time.

Head coachEdit

Stats correct up to and including 8 August 2018

Name From To Regular season Play-offs Cup Trophy Total Win % Notes
W L W L W L D W L W L %
  Dave Elderkin 1987 1988 8 20 0 0 1 1 3 3 12 24 33.33%
  Craig Lynch 1988 1990 32 16 1 3 1 2 6 12 40 33
  Dave Elderkin 1991 1995 26 109 0 0 1 4 3 9 30 122 19.74%
  Tom Hancock 1995 1997 32 40 1 2 3 2 2 7 38 51 42.70%
  Craig Lynch 1997 2000 56 52 2 4 2 3 11 10 71 69 50.71%
  Tony Garbelotto 2000 2002 37 31 1 2 2 2 10 5 50 40 55.55%
  Fabulous Flournoy 2002 2019 417 137 38 15 32 13 1 58 16 545 181 76.60%
  Ian MacLeod 2019 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -

Retired numbersEdit

  • 5 TJ Walker, Guard, 2000–2007
  • 10 Charles Smith, Forward, 2000–2016

Hall of FameEdit

  • TJ Walker 2000–2007
  • Lynard Stewart 2007–2010

StaffEdit

Player/Coach – Fab Flournoy

Assistant Coaches – Dave Forrester, Ian MacLeod

Team Manager – Eric Wilson

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Basketball's Newcastle Eagles to play in front of capacity crowd at Eagles Community Arena". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Sunderland basketball stars reflect on glorious team". Jake Harrison. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Sky's the limit for Newcastle Eagles". Bdaily Business Network Northeast. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  4. ^ "Eagles Community Arena". Newcastle Eagles. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Flournoy Realises NBA Dream". Newcastle Eagles. Retrieved 7 September 2019.