All members of the Oaklands Basketball Academy program will get the chance to shine in NBL1 for the Oaklands Wolves this season.

The men’s team will see the promotion of all the Oaklands College EABL academy players to D1 as the academy becomes front and centre of the Oaklands Wolves team. This moves follows the announcement last week by the program that the WBBL has moved in the same direction, meaning Oaklands now has the best opportunity for all its elite academy players to compete and be challenged at the highest level.

Head Coach Lee Ryan had this to say “We have been playing catch up on the men’s side, its taken a lot of work to get to this stage but I’m delighted and excited that we have been able to create such a strong pathway for the best boys coming to the program. This group, like us all, faced as tough a challenge as it gets last year navigating the pandemic; the resilience they developed from that will be crucial every week this season. The competition is going to be very tough, but these guys are improving rapidly and will turn some heads this year.”

He went on to say “Making this move is a bold one and wouldn’t be possible without the full support of the college and all the staff at Oaklands. We are entirely committed to youth development. The squad has a good mix with number of players who have come through our own club system, which makes it even more special to begin this chapter in our club history. Last season we saw a few of our boys excel in D1; this year that same opportunity is there for all.”

Oaklands Wolves will look for Kane Daley to lead the charge of the academy players for the second year running. The free scoring 6’3 guard averaged 28 minutes per game shooting 47% FG on his way to 14.4 points average last season. The Hertfordshire native said “Everyone in the squad has been working really hard to get ready for the season. I enjoyed the experience last season, with that experience behind me I feel more comfortable in my role and I’m confident I can show what I can do. All the guys are feeling good and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Veiz Cani, a 6’1 Italian guard, will be looking to take a bigger role this year as he recognises the opportunity ahead for all players at Oaklands, “This year there are so many young and hungry guys in the squad. The energy is already high in practice, everyone is putting in the work to level up their games. We are all excited to take the chance we have in front of us this season.” 

Academy D1 Squad 

Kane Daley (Guard, Oaklands Wolves) 

Veiz Cani (Guard, SPV Vignola)

Freddie Hiscock (Forward, Harlow Hawks) 

Talles Zacharias (Forward, Oaklands Wolves) 

Jacob Spurrier (Forward, Plymouth Raiders) 

Harry Watts (Guard, Oaklands Wolves) 

Lewis Thurlbourne (Guard, Oaklands Wolves) 

Joseph Oduor (Guard, BC London United)

Oliver Wright (Guard, Worcester Wolves)

Paul Akpan (Forward, Oaklands Wolves)

Seth Wylie (Guard, Brentwood Leopards)

Thomas Hughes (Guard, Oaklands Wolves)

Tom Haley (Guard, York Eagles)

Torin Pearson (Forward, Bucks Hornets) 

Tom Willmore (Guard, Brentwood Leopards) 

Alfredo Caruso (Forward, North Herts Knights) 

Owain Kimber (Guard, Oaklands Wolves)

Oaklands Wolves Director Michael Ball added “We are committed to giving junior players the best chance to reach their potential. Dedicating our program to this principle means we can increase numbers and raise the standard of the player pool we have in the British game. We believe in our players talent and potential but recognise that without change we are falling short. We are open to working around the UK to achieve a vision of an elite player pathway that can replicate and rival those we see in other National basketball powerhouses around the world.” 

Stay tuned to see the final additions to the Wolves squad tomorrow!