Basketball stars out in force

Some of the former basketball stars at Fleming Park.

Some of the former basketball stars at Fleming Park.

First published in Sport

A special basketball event at Eastleigh’s Fleming Park has raised more than £11,000 towards liver and pancreatic cancer research.

“Basketball v Cancer” was the brainchild of Bev Guymon, a well-known official at the Solent Kestrals club.

The co-founder and coach at Kestrels, Guymon is also the England Basketball Southern Region Development Manager and wife of former player and coaching legend Jimmie Guymon.

She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February and, after undergoing a six-hour operation, conducted by surgeon Mo Hilal, started her recovery. Mr Hilal set up the liver and pancreatic cancer research charity that has benefited from the £11,000 windfall.

A sell out crowd at Fleming Park of almost 1,000 were treated to a feast of basketball featuring a host of current and former national and international players not seen since the heyday of former national championship side Solent Stars in the 1980s. Amongst the Solent players who returned were former captain and GB international guard Paul Philp and Harlem Globetrotter Alan Cunningham. They lost a very competitive and entertaining warm-up match against former British Basketball League players, many of whom were themselves England internationals including Ronnie Baker, Peter Scantlebury and Steve Nelson. The main event saw two top current British Basketball League teams, London Lions and Sheffield Sharks, lock horns.

Reversing a 16-point deficit, the Lions performed a spirited final quarter comeback to lose 55-59. Mr Hilal said: “I just wanted to thank all of the organisers, volunteers, spectators and players for staging this very successful event, which I hope might become an annual event. “A lot of people worked very hard and organised a fantastic day which has raised the largest single amount from one event since the charity was founded – and which I hope will eventually reach £12,000 with donations continuing to come in. “The funds raised will make a real difference to the long term prospects for sufferers of this form of cancer and on their behalf I would like to thank you all.”

A cheque will be presented at the charity annual ball at the De Vere hotel in Southampton on October 12. A few tickets still remain, contact Linda Beadle on 0777 333 8629, or email lindab@allps.org.uk to buy one. Further details of the charity can be found at: http://www.lapcancercharity.com

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