History of the Club
Following the huge success and popularity of basketball in Birmingham in the 1980s and 90’s, City of Birmingham Basketball Club was established in 2003 by current Managing Director Rob Palmer.
During 2018 we were fortunate to receive a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for our young people to research the club’s history. This enabled those who are involved in the club today to see the fantastic journey the club has made!
From the foundation stage, it was established that the club needed to implement several key strategies that have remained in place to this day:
- Provide a safe, child friendly environment that would enable each individual to realise their full potential, both as a a basketball player and as a human being.
- Provide Basketball England (BE) qualified coaches to ensure appropriate leadership was given to participants.
- Provide opportunities for boys and girls up to the age of 18. In recent years we have been able to extend this into senior basketball.
- Develop educational relationships within schools across Birmingham to both identify potential basketball players and to support club members from an educational stand point
- Hold open trials each year so that anyone interested in basketball could have an opportunity to further their talents
- Develop players from a young age (primary school age) and continue that development by providing an appropriate pathway for all abilities as they progress through the club
- Develop good relationships to ensure access to a high standard of facilities
- Ensure that every individual can play at the club, regardless of any financial restraints by offering club bursaries where appropriate
- Provide a welcoming and friendly environment in which all members are treated with respect and supported to develop their basketball to the highest level possible.
During the following 10 years, the organisation evolved rapidly and soon gained a reputation for providing not only high level basketball but also positive personal development for many of our young people.
In 2016, the club formed a partnership with NBA Legend Hakeem ‘The Dream’ Olajuwon. This exciting relationship has enabled the delivery of two international summer camps which are now an annual event in the club calendar. Furthermore, Hakeem joined the board of directors in 2017 at which time the City of Birmingham Rockets brand was established.
Currently COB Rockets has 14 teams playing in Local, Regional and National competitions. We have over 300 members all playing weekly with the club. Our teams practice together twice each week with the majority of games being played over the weekend.
We endeavour to expose the young people at the club to experiences that they would not otherwise enjoy. These include competing in European tournaments. In recent years we have taken our teams to Belgium, Sweden and Ireland. Individual players and coaches have been supported in trips to Houston, Texas (USA) and we have recently established a new partnership in Alicante, Spain with Fundacion Lucentum.
Several of our players have gone on to play basketball professionally – some continue by playing basketball overseas and some even gain college scholarships in the US. Most importantly the majority of young people who have been involved with the club mature into good citizens who impact upon society and their own community positively.
Whilst these operations alone make the Rockets one of the UK’s largest basketball organisations, we also deliver school based coaching and community satellite clubs. In addition we deliver a variety of basketball tournaments and events across the city.
We have had much success on and off the basketball court during the past 15 years. Several teams from different age groups have made the National Play-Offs and also the Final Four Weekends. We have also had several players selected for National Team age Group Squads and Teams.
We currently have 14 teams ranging from Under 11s to Seniors (boys and girls) playing in Basketball England National Leagues and local competitions, 20 qualified coaches and over 300 members registered with Basketball England.