Aspire spotlight: Dan Watts excited to join coaching team

Basketball England's Aspire programme - the first stage on our talent pathway - returns for the second of eight monthly sessions on Sunday.

Ahead of it we spoke to new East Midlands programme head coach Dan Watts. He will be based at Loughborough University, one of Basketball England's new Regional Talent Hubs.

Nottingham native Dan Watts is one of the latest recruits to the Aspire programme.

He will lead the coaching staff for Under-13 Boys and brings a wealth of experience from his time with Derbyshire Spartans and Derby University.

Watts said: “I'm excited to get to work with the under-13s. It's a great age group to coach because of the purity and joy of the game for these kids.

"It’s going to be a lot of fun teaching them some new concepts and skills but also challenging to tailor it to their age and needs. We made some decent strides in session 1 and had a lot of fun doing it.”

Coach Watts is excited to be based at Loughborough’s campus and thinks the environment will benefit the young players.

“Being able to use the facilities at Loughborough is a great opportunity for us," he added. "Just to walk through the campus and see so many different sports events happening at the same time is great.

"The players even get the opportunity to see BBL and WBBL players around the facilities and sports scholars at the University all putting the work in to get better which is a great example for these aspiring players.

"Personally I'm really excited about the prospect of giving these players a different perspective than what they are used to and also just getting to know some great young people and helping them on the start of their journey in the sport as much as I can.” 

Following the recent appointment of Loraine Gayle as the Yorkshire Regional Talent Manager, the weekend will also see Yorkshire begin their Aspire programme, with their first session held at Leeds Beckett.