The GB Wolfpack Masters Tournament at the weekend, finished in style with over £4,000 raised for +40 player, Steven Gayle’s rehab.
Following a serious injury to FIMBA GB player Steven Gayle in the semi-final of the European Championships, the +40 Wolfpack once again showed why they earned their name by rallying around their injured teammate to raise funds for his operation and rehab.
Birmingham was the venue for the tournament, organised by +40 Team Manager Sasha McCarthy with a Men’s and Women’s competition as well as a 3 point Shootout and Hotshot team competition. Teams from all of the UK entered and it was great to see so many other players rallying around the wider FIMBA GB family either playing, or helping out as officials.
The Women’s competition saw a host of familiar faces back with their teammates from Malaga and was played in great spirits both on and off the court, with some highly competitive games.
Who are we 5-0, ran out eventual winners on points difference with a 3&1 record.
With the +40 FIMBA GB Wolfpack still affected by injuries, they split themselves between two teams and were joined by a mix of national league, local league and other players who hadn’t picked up a ball for a few years but wanted to get back into the game – embracing the spirit of Masters basketball. As always, the Wolfpack mentality was strong, with all teams and officials playing hard but with smiles on their faces throughout. One of the highlights was certainly the cameo appearances on court by Coach Mac and Physio Amanda kitting up – much to the delight of all.
In the Men’s competition, it was WEBBA who took the league win with a perfect 4&0 record, including a golden basket victory over Wolfpack 1.
Elsewhere there was a highly competitive men’s 3pt contest and a women’s Hotshot competition decided by the last shot of the day.
With 60 seconds to shoot as many 3pt as possible, the heats saw 18 players try their luck and some impressive shooting with 3 players hitting 12 and over.
Hotshot saw teams of two players working together to earn points from different areas of the court, which saw various tactics and great support from the watching crowd.
We were hugely fortunate to be able to welcome the Lord Mayor of Birmingham to the final hour of the tournament to have photos with the Silver Medalist GB Wolfpack team as well as present the winners trophies and Steven Gayle with a cheque for £4,005 following the fundraising efforts to get him back on court.
We want to thank everyone involved on and off court for all their efforts. Players injured and not, officials, supporters, families, we couldn’t have done it without you.
I would just like to say a big thank you to all the amazing people that made this event happen. This injury has been a major set back and believe it or not the only serious one in my basketball career. It is from this weekend event that has made me realise how many caring people there are that came out to support me and for that I will be forever, truly grateful. They say everything happens for a reason and if the reason this injury occurred was for me to meet some of these great people, then it was definitely worth the agony!
The tournament was great fun and hard to watch as I wanted to take part. The referees, table officials, coaches and supporters all made this a huge success and a special thank you to those of you who gave up your time without question.
The operation needed to be done because of a meniscus root tear. I would still be in a painful situation, unable to work and waiting for an operation without all of you. So thank you to every single person who donated your money, your time and for buying raffle tickets.
One last and very important thing is a massive thank you to Sasha. Sasha thank you for everything you have done. You have looked after me from the minute the game finished in Malaga until end of the Wolfpack tournament I can’t imagine how hard is has been, but you didn’t stop. You’re amazing. Thank You
Steven Gayle – GB +40 Wolfpack
Photos of the event can be found by clicking here