PRESTON – Myerscough Academy coach Troy Culley led an England U18 Men’s team to a third place finish at the Future Stars Junior International Tournament, defeating Oxygen Orange 1 98-85 in London.

“It’s an opportunity that I was very appreciative and grateful for to be able to coach on a stage like the Future Stars,” said Culley. “I’ve been involved in the performance pathway for a number of years at the regional and national team level, so to be able to lead an England team myself was an incredible experience and is something I’ve always wanted to do since I first got involved with basketball.

“The biggest takeaway is having been exposed to a lot of things you’re not aware of working as an assistant or apprentice coach — like how to manage a coaching staff and how to manage the expectations of 12 players, as well as my own.”

Myerscough forward Amari Williams, who added to his busy summer that included Basketball Without Borders Europe, the NBA Academy Games, an appearance at the U18 European Championships and DENG Camp, and incoming first-year Franklin Agu were part of England’s success.

The 6-foot-5 forward Agu ranked fourth on England in scoring at 8.3 points per game to go with 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals. Williams pulled in a team-high seven rebounds and added 6.3 points and 1.8 assists in four games.

England also notched a comfortable win over the Israeli team Maccabi Teddy Tel Aviv, where Williams and Agu combined for 19 points and 17 rebounds.

“The guys clicked from the get-go and that’s an ability this generation of basketball players are fortunate to have — they all know each other coming in having played with one another at camps or other national teams,” said Culley. “Throughout the tournament, the guys competed really hard and it was great to see them come together, understand what their teammates can do and represent England with a strong finish.”

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