Bryan Balser

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Bryan Balser is an retired professional and England International Basketball player having represented England Basketball at all levels U-15, U-17,[1] U-19, U-21, GB World Students Games Team (Universiade)[2] and England men's national basketball team[3][4]

Early Life

Balser was born on 26 January 1974, Hertfordshire, England, to Derick and Sylvia Balser. He started out playing for his home county's professional team, Hemel Royals, when he was just 16, before gaining a basketball scholarship at NCAA Division 1 Siena College,[5][6][7] NY, USA. Bryan became interested in Basketball through his father's involvement as an Official & Commissioner in the British Basketball League.

Hillside School, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire

Bryan attended Hillside Secondary School in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire where he studied G.C.S.E.s and 'A' Levels. Over a 4-year period Bryan led the Hillside school basketball teams in scoring to three National Championship finals. In 1990 the Boy's won the Under 16 Individual Schools Championship defeating Raine's Foundation School 62-58 with Balser scoring 35 points. In 1991 Balser led Hillside in scoring to the Under 19 National final again meeting Raines Foundation School which mainly consisted of his club teammates from East London. The final score was decided with a buzzer-beating shot from Joe Bentley with Raines winning 71-69. 1992 Hillside returned to the U-19 final to beat local county rivals Hemel Hempstead School becoming the National Champions for the second time. During an 18-game period in the 1991-92 English School's season Bryan scored 904 points, averaging 50.2 ppg. In 1990 Hillside school were invited to the European Schools Champions tournament in Svit, Slovakia where they competed against teams from Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Belgium and Slovakia. Balser finished the tournament as top scorer with 130 total points, averaging 26 points and second leading rebounder with 42, averaging 8.4 rounds per game.

Professional Playing Career[8]

Balser began his professional career at Derby Storm after returning from Siena College in 1996. Signing for the team at Christmas, Balser joined his East London and Siena teammate Dave Attewell. Balser returned the Derby Storm the following season having some notable performance during the 1997-98 season. In November 1997, during a 90-93 over-time defeat to the Sheffield Sharks, Balser hit eight three-pointers finishing with 30 points.[9]

International Playing Career

Balser was selected for the ESBBA England U-16 Boys Team in 1989 where he participated in the Four Nations Basketball Tournament beating Scotland in Swindon 114-19 scoring 15, Wales in Aberdare 118-20 and Ireland in Dundalk winning 103-80 with Balser leading the scoring with 25 points. In 1991 Balser was selected for the ESBBA Cadet National Team where he was the team's leading scorer during the British Gas Four Countries Tournament in Northampton. The England U-17 team beat Ireland 113-78 with Balser scoring 40 points, Wales 90-35 scoring 19 points and Scotland 115-47 scoring 23 points. Balser finished the tournament's top scorer with a total of 82 points averaging 27.3 points over the 3 international games. Balser was selected for the England Senior Men's team by Laszlo Nemeth at the age of 25 in 1999 during his professional career at TV Tigers. Balser was top scorer in the 1989-99 Budweiser League Championship final at Wembley Arena which led to his selection for the national team.

Playing Honours: British Basketball League Southern Conference Winner 1999-2000; UNIBALL Trophy Winner 1999-2000 International: England Debut 1999 v Poland; GB Students 1993; England U-19 1991-92, England U-17[10] 1990-1991; England U-15 1989-90

Professional Clubs/Universities: Derby Storm[11] 1996-1998, London Towers 1999-2000, Leicester Riders 2002-2004,[12] Thames Valley Tigers 1998-99[13][1], Siena College[14][15] NY, USA, 1992–96, Ware Rebels 1991-90, Hemel Royals 1990-91

School & Club Basketball Achievements

Year Basketball Club/Team Competition/Titles Age Group Awards[no citations needed here]
1989-90 East London Royals National Cup Champions U-17 M.V.P
East London Royals National League Champions U-17
East London Royals National League Champions U-17
Hillside School ESBBA National Individual Schools Champions U-16
Hillside School Hertfordshire County League Champions U-16
Hillside School Hertfordshire County League Champions U-19
Hillside School Hertfordshire County Cup Champions U-19
1990-91 East London Royals National Cup Champions U-19 M.V.P
East London Royals National League Champions U-19
Hillside School ESBBA National Individual Schools Runners-up U-19
1991-92 East London Royals National Cup Champions U-19
East London Royals National League Champions U-19
Hillside School ESBBA National Individual Schools Champions U-19
Hillside School Hertfordshire County League Champions U-19
Hillside School Hertfordshire County Cup Champions U-19
Individual Converse National Hot Shot U-19 Winner
1998-99 TV Tigers British Basketball League Final Runner-up Men Top Scorer
1999-00 London Towers British Basketball League Trophy Champions Men

References