Hillstreet Shopping Centre is celebrating the extra-long weekend this Spring Bank with some good old fashioned family fun.
Young 13 year old Brendan Brown is embarking on a remarkable career with TADEA Middlesbrough Lions after gracing the court in both high profile pre season friendlies.
Brown was nervous in his first outing against Hallam Arrows in which he ran out the final two minutes of the game but in yesterday's encounter with BBL side Durham Wildcats the young Buck earned 6 minutes either side of half time and displayed a more confident performance against very tough opposition.
Coach Thomson added "With youngsters in senior games, you concentrate on minimising mistakes and after that you look at developing contribution. Brendan made only one turnover in six minutes of play so that was very good. His biggest attribute is actually his understanding. He absorbs all information and instruction and when he enters a game, he knows exactly what to do."
Brendan was possibly afforded more of an opportunity due to Lions missing some players but Coach Thomson had no hesitations in playing the youngster.
"I have always been a believer in youth. If you are good enough, you are old enough. Brendan is not the finished article yet, but he has been training hard over the Summer with us and deserved to play a part in the pre season. His opportunities will be extremely limited in the regular season, but the fact a 13 year old is in the mix of what looks a very good National league team is a credit to his development and I am prediciting big things for him in the future." added Mr Thomson.
Brendan, who attends Egglescliffe school in Stockton is enjoying his time as a Lion "I am really happy. Last year I was watching the games as a fan and now I am training and suiting up for games. I still cant believe I played against a BBL side. I know my time will be limited if nothing at all but I will keep working hard and be ready if called upon."
Brendans proud father; Steve Brown was thrilled to see his son feature "A couple of years ago, as a family, we went to see an NBA basketball game in USA and the Lions set up is not a million miles away. Our family are big fans of the Lions so it was a very proud moment when James asked Brendan to train with the senior team and then actually play in pre season."