Banner image

London City Royals to join the BBL

London City Royals will join the British Basketball League for the forthcoming 2018/19 season.

The new franchise will be based at the iconic Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in South London and will look to build upon the previous successes of former Palace-based teams. These include ex-BBL champions London Towers in the 1990’s and Crystal Palace during the 70’s and 80’s.

With basketball established as the second most popular team sport amongst teenagers across England, it also has an ever-increasing number of active players and fans rapidly growing across London. The Royals intend to both serve and develop this new interest, while providing existing fans with a unique and exciting court side basketball experience – together with world class pre-game and half-time entertainment.

The Royals will also be championing an extensive grassroots community programme to encourage greater participation in basketball as the recreational sport of choice for both children and adults alike. A key focus for the new franchise will be to also provide accessible and highly coveted new opportunities for talented British players. They will be given a chance to pursue their quest to reach the highest levels of domestic professional basketball at home and in the nations capital.

The Royals are owned by ABC Basketball Limited with shareholders including Jon Sawyer, CEO of the leading consultancy firm, Icon Business Solutions and Nhamo Shire – the founder of the Community Basketball League, the leading grassroots league in London and the popular Midnight Madness Summer Basketball Tournament.

The Royals will play at the iconic Crystal Palace National Sports Centre

“We are delighted to be launching the London City Royals, the newest basketball franchise in London at the Crystal Palace Sports Centre,” said Sawyer, who is the Chairman of the Royals.

“Crystal Palace has a wonderful history of hosting the best British basketball franchises including the London Towers and the legendary Crystal Palace teams.

“We are proud and honoured to bring professional basketball back to South London and capture the hearts and minds of a new audience through first class entertainment both on and off the court."


"We have set up the franchise with a view to establishing ourselves as a dominant force within British basketball and with a view to entering into European competitions in due course.”

Jon Sawyer - Royals Chairman


Shire, who is Head of Basketball Operations added: “I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in the game for over 30 years at every level and been involved in some pretty amazing things during that time. So, I know first-hand about the power of our game to positively impact communities and bring people together through sport.

“Through the successes of the London School of Basketball at getting more people playing and our Community Basketball League in providing young people with accessible competitions, alongside Midnight Madness in highlighting our many talented players over the years, we’ve listened closely to the needs of the whole community.

“We understood the missing piece to our puzzle was to provide an accessible elite level outlet at the top end for players across London to aspire to and new fans to come and be a part of.


“I’m excited to be involved in a solution that is fully-committed to bringing all the elements together in establishing the very best basketball has to offer for fans, players and the London community-at-large and look forward to helping build a team London can be proud of both nationally and internationally in the years ahead.”

Nhamo Shire - Head of Basketball Operations


Meanwhile, Andy Webb – Chief Operating Officer of the BBL, commented: “We are delighted to welcome the London City Royals to the BBL and are confident that with Jon (Sawyer) and Nhamo (Shire) leading the way, our newest franchise will have what it takes to be a success and meet expectations.

“It’s exciting for us as a league in terms of visibility and profile to have another professional club based in the capital. In such an important and extensive market like London, we’re thrilled to now have a franchise either side of the Thames.

“There will be some exciting derbies for the fans of the Royals with both Lions and Scorchers, while one of the biggest plus points will be the importance being placed on the club’s community grassroots programme.”

Latest News

Game Recap » Bristol Flyers 81-82 Surrey Scorchers

Game Recap » Bristol Flyers 81-82 Surrey Scorchers

Posted: Saturday, October 23rd 2021

ITEC Game Preview » Surrey Scorchers (H)

ITEC Game Preview » Surrey Scorchers (H)

Posted: Friday, October 22nd 2021

Game Recap » Plymouth City Patriots 69-82 Bristol Flyers

Game Recap » Plymouth City Patriots 69-82 Bristol Flyers

Posted: Wednesday, October 20th 2021

Jake Notice returns to Bristol Flyers

Jake Notice returns to Bristol Flyers

Posted: Tuesday, October 19th 2021

Also from Bristol Sport

Valuable experience for young Robins - Hines
Football icon

Valuable experience for young Robins - Hines

City U23s were beaten 2-0 by QPR at Ashton Gate but coach Ali Hines stressed they would learn from the defeat.

Posted: Tuesday, October 26th 2021 • Football

📝 Report: Bristol City Under-23s 0-2 QPR Under-23s
Football icon

📝 Report: Bristol City Under-23s 0-2 QPR Under-23s

City Under-23s fell to a 2-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers at Ashton Gate, with two goals from George Thomas proving the difference between the sides.

Posted: Tuesday, October 26th 2021 • Football

Loan watch: Lloyd stars as Clifton thrash Westcliff
Rugby icon

Loan watch: Lloyd stars as Clifton thrash Westcliff

Jac Lloyd scored 17 points and Tomos Gwilliam impressed as Clifton amassed a century against Westcliff in National Two South.

Posted: Tuesday, October 26th 2021 • Rugby

Win a Gallagher Premiership Rugby match ball plus two tickets to a match of your choice
Rugby icon

Win a Gallagher Premiership Rugby match ball plus two tickets to a match of your choice

We’ve teamed up with Gilbert Rugby to bring you a great new competition.

Posted: Tuesday, October 26th 2021 • Rugby

🎟 Rams and Terriers games on general sale
Football icon

🎟 Rams and Terriers games on general sale

Tickets for the December home games against Derby County and Huddersfield Town are now on general sale.

Posted: Monday, October 25th 2021 • Football