Diamond of the game Mary Shepherd honoured for her contribution to basketball

Deighton Diamonds’ Mary Shepherd was honoured with the Gordon Meadows Memorial Award for her outstanding contribution to basketball at the 2023 Leeds and District Basketball League (LDBL) Finals.

Shepherd started her basketball journey at Cirencester Deer Park High School in 1987, and subsequently joined the Gloucester Jets junior girls national league team. A move to the North of England to study in 1991 saw her become a prominent member of Sheffield Hallam University’s women and co-ed basketball teams, and she was also selected for Sheffield Hatters’ national university team.

In 1995, she headed to Leeds to complete her teacher training. Never wanting to hang up her basketball kicks, she played for Kirklees in the Leeds and Yorkshire leagues, before they merged to form the LDBL – and found a new club in Deighton after Kirklees disbanded.

Shepherd has also been a dab-hand on the side line too, coaching the boys’ and girls’ teams at Whitcliffe Mount School and Greenhead Sixth Form College to national finals.

Taking place on the 1-2 April at Leeds Beckett University, the LDBL Finals saw Bradford Maroons beat Horsforth Hustlers 105-96 to claim the men’s trophy, followed by Leeds Trinity Tigers beating Deighton Diamonds 94-37 and Leeds Lightning winning against Deighton Ryders 97-73 in the ladies and men’s cups, respectively.

There were also presentations to the regular-season league winners:

  • Men's Premiership – Leeds Lightning
  • Ladies Premiership – Trinity Tigers
  • Men's Division 1 – York Eagles
  • Men's Division 2 – Bradford Maroons
  • Men's Division 3 – Holme Valley Demons

Over the weekend, to bolster officiating in the region, nearly 50 people took a level two referee or table officials’ course – an initiative run in collaboration between the City of Leeds Basketball Foundation, LDBL, and Basketball England's Yorkshire Region.

LDBL provides competitive local league basketball in West Yorkshire across five divisions for over 600 players and 40 teams.  


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