Guildford Heat

Guildford Heat

BBL team
color1 = #FF0000
color2 = #000000
name = Guildford Heat

imagesize = 200px
sponsor = None
league = British Basketball League
established = 2005
history = Guildford Heat
arena = The Spectrum
(Capacity: 1,124)
location = Guildford, Surrey
coach = flagicon|UK Paul James
ownership = PLC
colours = Black, Red and White
website = []
h_body = 000000
h_pattern_b = _thinredsides
h_shorts = 000000
h_pattern_s =
a_body = FFFFFF
a_pattern_b = _thinredsides
a_shorts = FF0000
a_pattern_s = _blanksides

The Guildford Heat are a basketball club based in Guildford, England that currently play in the British Basketball League. The Heat play their home games at the The Spectrum and were formed in 2005 by fans of the former BBL franchise Thames Valley Tigers, who folded during the same year.

Franchise history

Basketball in Guildford

The town of Guildford has been home to several elite basketball teams down the years. With the opening of the Guildford Spectrum, the successful Kingston team uprooted, moved in and renamed themselves the Guildford Kings in 1992, briefly calling the place home until they folded in 1994, as did the Pumas before they relocated to Sutton in 1999. However it was the first major team, the Guildford Pirates who played in the town from 1975 to 1982 that would come back and figure prominently in the birth of the new club, the Guildford Heat.

Tigers demise, Heat rise

In 1982, the Pirates moved to near-by Bracknell, becoming the Bracknell Pirates and later the Thames Valley Tigers. For many years, the Tigers were one of the front runners of the league, evening winner the league Championship in 1994, but it was in the new millennium that the successes dried up and for owner John Nike the team was too much of a financial burden. In April 2005, he announced that he would no longer be funding the basketball franchise nor his ice hockey franchise Bracknell Bees. [cite web| author = BBC Sport | title = Backer Nike quits Bees and Tigers | url = | year = 2005 | accessdate = 2006-12-02 | publisher = BBC | date = 2006 ]

Immediately a consortium of fans was formed to save the club, headed by local fan Mike Davies, and they put together a viable package to take over the administration of the team. However, Nike failed to reach agreement in time for them to lease the franchise, and the deadline for entry into the BBL for 2005-2006 was reached. [cite web| author = BBC Sport | title = Tigers fans fail to secure deal | url = | year = 2005 | accessdate = 2006-12-02 | publisher = BBC | date = 2006 ] The Tigers' BBL membership thus lapsed, but the fans obtained permission from the League to enter a new team in their place, and successful negotiations with the Spectrum Arena in Guildford led to the birth of the Guildford Heat.

Phoenix from the flames

The Heat played their first ever BBL game on October 1, 2005 against the Newcastle Eagles at the Metro Radio Arena, losing in overtime 89-88. The very next night they defeated the Leicester Riders in the BBL Cup 69-65 on home court. Their debut season saw victories over established teams such as London Towers, Plymouth Raiders, Brighton Bears, and reigning BBL Champions, Chester Jets. The Heat truly were the phoenix from the flames of the Tigers franchise.

They finished the 2005-06 season with an impressive record of 20-20, finishing 5th in the league and qualifying for the post-season playoffs, a remarkable achievement for the rookie club. In the first round of the playoffs, playing away from home the Heat demolished the London Towers 99-81, however the opposition in the semi-finals, the all-conquering Newcastle Eagles proved to much and the Heat succumbed to a 115-97 defeat. They also made the semi-final of the BBL Trophy, but missed out on a final following a nailbiting home defeat at the hands of eventual runners-up, the Leicester Riders.

2006-07 season

The arrival of American swingman Daniel Gilbert from Germany was a major coup for the Heat during the summer of 2006, proving playcaller Paul James still has great ability in spotting stars of the future. Guildford kick-started the season with a close away victory against the Scottish Rocks, 95-91 on October 1, 2006 which started a 3 game winning streak in the league Championship. The Heat also qualified for their first-ever cup final appearance after defeating Sheffield Sharks 87-81 in the semi-final of the BBL Cup.

On December 12, 2006, the club announced their first major sponsorship agreement with French chimney manufacturers Poujoulat, in what was reported as potentially a six-figure deal. [cite web| author = Guildford Heat | title = Guildford Heat become Poujoulat Heat, Guildford | url = | year = 2006 | accessdate = 2006-12-12 | publisher = Guildford Heat | date = 2006 ] As a result of the contract which was agreed to run through to May 2008, the team was renamed as "Poujoulat Heat Guildford" to incorporate the sponsors name, however the deal actually lasted just a year before it was mutually terminated by Poujoulat and the Guildford Heat.

Just 18 months since the franchise's foundation, the Heat picked up their first ever trophy on January 7, 2007, with an 81-78 win in the BBL Cup final against the Scottish Rocks. [cite web| author = BBC Sport | title = Guildford beat Rocks to claim cup | url = | year = 2007 | accessdate = 2007-07-15 | publisher = BBC | date = 2007 ] Over 600 Guildford fans travelled up to the National Indoor Arena, in Birmingham to see their team clinch the silverware in front of a bumper crowd of 3,785 people.

Despite seemingly looking to run away with the League title, Heat's season suffered a huge blow when a knee injury to Chad McKnight against Sheffield Sharks on February 3, effectively ruled the American out for the remainder of the campaign. The player was subsequently released, assumingly for the long-term injury. However a month later, The Independent broke the news that McKnight had been issued with a three-month suspension for testing positive for marijuana, along with former Leicester Riders star Steve Bucknall, who had also been released by his club. [cite web| author = Richard Taylor | title = BBL kept in the dark on positive drug test | url = | year = 2007 | accessdate = 2007-03-24 | publisher = The Independent ] A statement from the club confirmed McKinght was released because of the failed drugs test, though the player denied ever using the banned substance. [cite web| author = Guildford Heat | title = Statement from the Heat board | url = | year = 2007 | accessdate = 2007-03-27 | publisher = Guildford Heat ]

The Guildford Heat secured the 2006-2007 BBL League title thanks to a highly impressive 114-85 victory over London United at the Guildford Spectrum on April 8, 2007. It was their first League title in the franchise's history. The following week the Heat once again played host to London United in the BBL Playoff Quarter-final, with a place at the Finals Weekend up for grabs. The Heat managed to win the match 71-68 and will now face Scottish Rocks in the Semi-Final.

The Guildford Heat became the first ever British Basketball League club to achieve Sport England Clubmark Level 4 accreditation of quality. Clubmark is a scheme designed to encourage clubs to reach various levels of national standards in the community development work they deliver. The Guildford Heat are only the 9th team in the country to have achieved this accreditation, and this in addition to being recently named by England Basketball as the country's 10th biggest academy. [cite web| author = Guildford Heat | title = Guildford Heat Achieve Sport England Clubmark Level 4 | url = | year = 2007 | accessdate = 2007-05-26 | publisher = Guildford Heat ]

2007-08 season

The Heat were admitted into the ULEB Cup for the 2007-08 season, becoming Britain's sole representatives in European competition, and the first British team to compete in Europe since Brighton Bears' appearance in the 2003-04 season. The Heat were drawn against DKV Joventut of the Spanish ACB; Germans Alba Berlin; Turk Telekom from Ankara, Turkey; BC Šiauliai of Lithuania and, KK Bosna of Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Guildford Heat won the inaugural pre-season BBL Cup Winners' Cup with a 176-168 aggregate win over two legs against the Plymouth Raiders. The competitive season started with an 83-90 away victory against the 2007 Playoff winners, Newcastle Eagles on Friday, September 21. The two sides collected nine of the last ten pieces of BBL silverware so it was just the start the Guildford Heat needed in their bid to retain the League title.

On November 6 the Heat embarked on their biggest adventure yet, when they played in their first ever European game in the ULEB Cup, just two years after being established. Despite the huge anticipation, the Heat lost to the greater experienced Bosnian's KK Bosna. The final score in Sarajevo was 84-68 in favour of the home side with big summer signing Carlton Aaron scoring Heat's first ever points in Europe. This was also to be the last game Brian Dux would play in a Heat jersey before his horrific car accident in the early hours of Saturday, November 10, which left him in a coma. See below for more details. Guildford lost all ten games in ULEB cup achieving a 0-10 record.

On March 2, 2008, Guildford Heat fought back from a half-time defecit to win the BBL Trophy for the first time in their history, defeating the Newcastle Eagles 86-79 at the Plymouth Pavilions. The Heat's E.J. Harrison picked up the MVP award. However, in a crucial crunch game with title challengers, the Newcastle Eagles the BBL League title was lost after a thrilling over-time victory for the Eagles. The game finished 108-101 to the eagles and Fab Flournoy's team were crowned champions.

Brian Dux Automobile Accident

On Saturday 10th November 2007, the Guildford Heat point guard Brian Dux, was seriously injured when he lost control of his Nissan Micra car on the Bagshot Road, Chobham, at about 4.40am. It took Surrey Police two hours and 20 minutes to attend the scene of the incident. Dux was then taken to Frimley Park Hospital where he was in a coma in the intensive care unit. Frimley Park Hospital consultants took into consideration the possibility that Brian Dux may have suffered permanent disability from his single car automobile accident. [] Dux is now at home in the USA, being cared for by his family.

Home arenas

:The Spectrum (2005-present)

Season-by-season records



* BBL Championship Winners: 2006/07 1


* BBL Play Off Winners: 2007/08 1


* BBL Trophy Winners: 2007/08 1


* BBL Cup Winners: 2006/07 1
* BBL Cup Winners' Cup Winners: 2007/08 1

Franchise leaders

* Points
** Career: Brian Dux, 1,322
** Career Average: Brian Dux, 17.86

* Single season records:
** Points: Brian Dux, 652 "(2006-07)"
** Points per game: Brian Dux, 18.13 "(2005-06)"
** Rebounds: Mike Martin, 337 "(2006-07)"
** Rebounds per game: Mike Martin, 9.36 "(2006-07)"
** Assists: Brian Dux, 189 "(2006-07)"
** Assists per game: Brian Dux, 5.25 "(2006-07)"
** Steals: Daniel Gilbert, 79 "(2006-07)"
** Steals per game: Daniel Gilbert, 2.32 "(2006-07)"
** Blocks: Mike Martin, 14 "(2006-07)"
** Blocks per game: Mike Martin 0.39 "(2006-07)"

* Single game records:
** Points: Brian Dux, 41 "(Playoff Semi-final against Newcastle Eagles on April 29, 2006)"


Current roster

"The numbers are established according to the official websites of the team ( [] ) and Britain's top professional league, the BBL ( [] )."

"As of 7th September 2008"

Notable former players

*flagicon|UK Ajou Deng

See also

*Basketball in England
*British Basketball League
*Guildford Kings
*Thames Valley Tigers


External links

* [ Official Guildford Heat website]
* [ Guildford Heat on MySpace]

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