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Youngblood named new Leopards boss
ROBERT Youngblood is the Essex Leopards’ new player coach.
The 42-year-old, who captained the Leopards during the 1990s, has taken over from Dejan Mihevc.
Club chairman Fred Dicker is delighted to have him back on board.
“He was our first choice for the job and he will bring a wealth of experience to our team,” said Dicker.
“It will also be fantastic to see Robert back on the court for the team where he started his professional career, and we are sure he will make a success of his first coaching job.”
Youngblood skippered Leopards when they joined the British Basketball League in 1994 and led them to a BBL League and National Cup double in 1997 before they repeated their league success in 1998.
He left the club in November 1999 and went on to play in Germany before returning to England to play for London Towers, MK Lions and Leicester Riders. He started last season with the Riders, playing against Leopards in the BBL Trophy, before seeing out the season with the Lions.
And he is thrilled to have come back.
“I was a Leopard as captain for five years, winning three championships, and I’m very happy to be going back to my old stamping ground,” he said.
“I always intended to go into coaching when I finished playing and I’m sure that I won’t be a disappointment.
“You will see a team that will play hard and passionately.
“We’ll be together as a team and play tough defence.”
Youngblood became the first person to be inducted into the Big Cats’ hall of fame in April when he presented the players with their English Basketball Division One league winning medals.
Youngblood, who also works as head coach at the Harris Basketball Academy in Beckenham has now started the job of recruiting a team to defend the three trophies they won last season and announcements of new signings are expected in the next few weeks.
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