Our coaching and admin team includes Navid, Dominik, Cezary, Walid, Leon, Laurence, Neb, Diana, Lesley and Efe. We run sessions in Cambourne, Northstowe, St Ives, Cambridge and St Neots for Under 10, Under 12, Under 14, Under 16, Under 18 and adult age groups.
Navid is a Basketball England Level 2 coach and has been helping coach both junior and adult players on the Cambourne Raptors and the Northstowe Kites (formerly Jets) since September 2018. He was one of the key people to start the Cambourne Raptors in 2016 and has been the Chairman of the club for several years.
Now the Director of Fastbreak Basketball, he is very passionate about grassroots basketball and his vision is that everyone in Cambridgeshire should have the opportunity to play this complete and beautiful game.
Cezary is our Game Delegate for our home matches. He is a Level 2 Basketball England referee and is becoming a Level 2 Coach. He is one of the main referees for the Fastbreak League and regularly referees games for the Cambridge University College League.
My dad introduced me to basketball after a failed try-out for a youth football team in my hometown, Gdańsk. I was seven years old back then and haven’t looked back since. I got the privilege of learning to play under some great coaches as I progressed through a plethora of junior teams (10–18 years of age), with much success at both regional and national levels in Poland. At the age of 19, I had to choose whether to try my luck in playing professionally or leave to study abroad. I chose the latter, which began a new basketball journey. Between 2006 and 2009 I played for University College London, including serving as President of the Men’s Basketball Club for two years, before playing for Cardiff University in Wales during my Master’s degree.
After moving to Cambridge, I played in the University College League, first captaining the WT/CRUK Gurdon Institute, finishing top of the league in three consecutive seasons; and, more recently, Wolfson College, winning the Cuppers competition in 2022. I have played for the Cambourne Raptors Men’s Senior team since 2018 and was given the team’s MVP award in 2019 and 2020.
My passion for the game remains as strong as ever, which is why I’m currently training to become a Level 2 coach. As my friends know (probably all too well), I’m a devout supporter of the Boston Celtics. Having enjoyed playing basketball for nearly 30 years, I feel it’s now time for me to give back to the game and inspire the next generations. I look forward to sharing my knowledge, experience and passion with the Fastbreak Basketball community!
Walid is a Level 2 Club Coach. He has a wealth of playing experience and has volunteered to transfer his knowlege to his local community. We are hoping to benefit from his knowledge in many more of our sessions.
I grew up in Tunisia and started playing basketball when I was 9 years old. My dad is a football coach so I grew up with a coaching mindset.
I played competitively in a national level club and we won the Tunisia Junior championship twice.
I played in Wessex League D1 2017-2019 and we were runners up twice in the playoffs.
Basketball is a very fun game to play. I learned a lot from it as a player, not only on the court, but off the court as well. It taught me how to be a better human being, to care about the feelings of teammates, to control my emotions in difficult situations, to be patient, to push myself to the limit and to think before acting.
I'm looking forward to learning more about the game as a coach.
Dominik is a Level 2 Basketball England referee and a Level 1 Basketball England Coach. He is a true basketball enthusiast and physical activity advocate who believes in the opportunities and learning that sport has the potential to provide. Dominik is very passionate about coaching and working with players to achieve their goals and pushing themselves beyond their limits. Dominik helps run our U12 sessions in Cambourne and Northstowe as well officiating games in the Fastbreak League.
I love to watch and play the game. Basketball is a very entertaining sport and can be played by anyone. Some of the most vivid memories I have from my childhood were soundtracked by a song called “Sirius” by the Alan Parsons Project rock band. “Sirius” is the intro tune for the Chicago Bulls basketball team. I was lucky to be of an age where I witnessed the Bulls play in 90s. This is when I started playing basketball. I played for my school teams throughout my secondary and high school years. I still enjoy playing basketball and making new friends on the court. During the free time, I coach my son at basketball and spend time with my family.
Laurence is a Level 2 Basketball England Coach and has been coaching the first and second teams of Cambourne Senior Raptors team since September 2021. He is also a Level 3 personal trainer since 2008. He is leading our Basketball Specific Movement & Strength & Conditioning sessions.
I learnt how to play basketball by playing for the Cambridge Cats as a youngster. My teams won multiple titles with school basketball and I also became a county captain for the East of England. During my U16 season, I was scouted by two clubs, the Chester Jets and the Broxbourne Bulls. I played a couple of seasons for the Bulls in the Junior National League. I then took a break from basketball and got back into playing in my mid 30s. I am now starting my second season coaching the Cambourne Raptors Mens team which I has helped me gain a lot of experience. I will start coaching our newest team, Cambridge City, in September 2023.
Neb is a Basketball England Level 2 coach. He is offering his wealth of basketball experience to our young people in Cambridgeshire for free. In return, he expects commitment from both parents and players alike. You can only get coached by him if you commit to Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday training sessions in addition to the additional weekend National League matches on Saturdays or Sundays if selected.
We invite all talented players across the county to join his team if they would like to fulfil their full basketball potential.
I started to play basketball many years ago, in 1970 when my country, Yugoslavia won its first world championship. I was ten at the time and went out in the street to play. Everyone did. Very soon I joined BASK, one of the oldest sport clubs in Belgrade. I went through their junior programmes (12-18 yrs of age) and then continued to play for their first team (1978-1991). At the peak of our success, we played in the second, professional (we could say today) Yugoslav division. Those were the 80s and the first Yugoslav division was by far the best league in the world, outside of the American NBA. From 1985 to 1992 Yugoslav clubs won all of the European championships but one - and all of that without American or any other imports or players older than 27 years. In this socialist country, local players were not allowed to go and play abroad before age 27. And no one needed imports because they produced very good local players. So, the second division was pretty good.
In 1989 I was on a Yugoslav selection team that toured New Zealand. We went there without any training but did manage to beat, among others, the local national team in Wellington.
In 1991 I moved to New Zealand for good. I played two seasons for the Nelson Suns and started coaching. I then moved to Auckland in 1994 and set up a team with a bunch of ex-Yugoslav players from all parts of the war torn country. We played the local social league against all professional players in the area, including American imports, and were quite successful.
I was an academic in Auckland and received an offer to come to Cambridge. I accepted the offer and since 2001 I have been an Associate Professor and the Director of the University of Cambridge Language Programmes.
Since 2002 I have also been coaching the University men’s basketball team. I also played Maxi-basketball tournaments for the over 40s, then 50s, then… we won a couple of British championship and I also played at one over 50s World Championship.
I have three sons. The two big ones play(ed) rugby. The youngest one, Marko (now 16), played rugby since the age of 5 but decided to switch to basketball. I welcomed the spirit and positive vibe! He joined the Raptors Basketball Club (now the Falcons) and that's how I got involved in the club. I felt that with my experience, knowledge and passion I could contribute to the development of the team, the individual players and the club as a whole. So far, I have coached the U14 and U16 teams, and I am now getting into the U18 realm. A great challenge and even greater fun!
Looking forward to seeing you all and to some great basketballing times in and around Cambourne.
I am very excited to be involved in the development and growth of the youth teams at Fastbreak Basketball. I think basketball is an amazing sport for youngsters wanting to stay fit while learning valuable life skills such as teamwork and perseverance. My approach to coaching is centred around empowering players to pursue their goals and overcome challenges. I am committed to creating a positive environment for all players to develop fundamental basketball skills, and I look forward to helping players achieve their full potential on and off the court.
Efe is a Level 2 Basketball England Coach. He lives in Northstowe and has been helping with coaching U12, U14 as well as beginners adult sesions in Northstowe since September 2022.
I started playing basketball when I was 8 years old, back in 1998 at a local youth club. I continued playing for my school throughout my secondary and high school where we won the domestic league and came 3rd in the national league. Whilst in high school, I joined a local team who was competing in the senior league in Northern Cyprus. I continued playing in the local team, semi-professionally until I went to university. At that point I got transferred to the university team and played both in the university league and the professional basketball league. We won the university league and finished 4th in the professional league. That same year I was called up to the North Cyprus U-21 national team and played in a summer cup tournament. I then moved to the UK to continue my university study and started playing for University of Bath. I played for two years before I had a herniated disc injury, which took me out of the game. I started coaching when I moved to Northstowe and have enjoyed my experience so far. It gives me an opportunity to share what I have learnt throughout the years, make Northstowe area players better and improve the quality and interest of basketball in the UK overall.
I have 25 years of comms and marketing experience and have developed many websites over the course of my career, so I am happy to volunteer to help maintain and improve the Fastbreak site. I am always open to suggestions, so if there is something you would like to see on the site or if a bit of information is unclear, please drop me a line.
While I can hit a terribly executed layup, I am not a basketball player. I 'mom coach' from the sidelines and apologise in advance for my running commentary if you happen to be sititng next to me at a game.
One of my son's will be playing on the U16 and U14 National League Teams in the 23-24 season as well as Assistant Coaching the U12 St Ives Falcons. My other son has recently qualified as a Level 1 Table Official. As a family, we watch a lot of basketball. I am from the San Francisco Bay Area, so we are Golden State Warriors fans (Go Warriors!), but we will root for any team we're watching. We just enjoy good basketball.
Lesley is the Club Secretary who manages enquiries, court bookings, session planning and club shop management. She is also the Welfare Officer for the club, coordinates Basketball England memberships and handles the social media and WhatsApp groups.
As a mother of three boys, I've grown accustomed to standing outside in the cold watching tennis or football. So when my middle son expressed an interest in basketball, an indoor sport, I was thrilled! I enrolled him in the Fastbreak U12 team, and he's been loving playing every week with his friends. My knowledge of basketball was limited to watching a Knicks game once, but I'm slowly getting better at it!
I have a degree in Marketing and Languages, and I've previously worked in the Harrier Project Team at the Ministry of Defence. After that, I joined Cambridge Regional College in their Events and Marketing department, which I thoroughly enjoyed. However, after taking a 10-year break to look after my children, I was ready for a new challenge. That's when I applied to join the Fastbreak team part-time, and I'm glad that I did!
If you need any assistance, I'll do my best to help or at least guide you in the right direction.