East London Phoenix announce new head coach
14 September 2022
The University of East London (UEL) is delighted to appoint former Great Britain Paralympian Ade Orogbemi as the new Head Coach of the East London Phoenix women's wheelchair basketball team.
The 44-year-old has over twenty years' worth of experience in wheelchair basketball. Orogbemi is a four-time European champion, has participated in seven World Championships and has won two Paralympic bronze medals.
I'm very excited about coaching the Phoenix team. I want to help the players play to the best of their ability and raise the team's performances as a result. Also, being an East London boy, I'm looking forward to coming back home and really making a difference in the area."
Orogbemi was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He moved to Hackney as a child and was raised and schooled in the borough.
At 19, he was stopped on the streets of Hackney by a coach of the East London Bullets, who recruited him to play basketball, tipping off his sporting career.
"I got into basketball by luck really. I was returning from college, and a car pulled up next to me on Mare Street in Hackney. The car window rolled down, and a man with a deep Jamaican accent (Leroy Dobson) asked me to come to a training session. The rest was history," Orogbemi said.
Orogbemi believes that through sport, these vulnerable children have the opportunity to live a life they never knew was possible. He has coached all over the world, including in Spain, and delivered wheelchair basketball clinics to five schools in Nigeria, including a school for deaf learners.
"Coaching was something that always interested me. I like developing young athletes and the day-to-day aspect of building a team all the way to game day and the tactical battles.
"I transitioned to coaching wheelchair basketball about three years ago after the president of my club asked me if I could play and coach the team. My first year was tough because I missed a lot of things tactically while I was playing. I am now better, but I'm still looking at ways to improve my trade. "
"My highlight as a coach so far is building a family - a team where everyone feels welcome and creating a platform for everyone to work and perform at the highest level."
With the appointment of Orogbemi, the UEL franchise is looking to build on an impressive second-place finish in the inaugural season of the British Wheelchair Basketball Women's Premier League (WPL).
"The WPL is a new league, and to be part of it by coaching the Phoenix team is a great honour for me. I hope the WPL will continue to grow and be the best league in the world.
"My target for the team right now is to build a team. But for sure, the overall goal is to win the league."
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