Ajumobi enjoys Midnight Madness experience

Romford's Dave Ajumobi (1) represented Great Britain with the Midnight Madness team in Germany this

Romford's Dave Ajumobi (1) represented Great Britain with the Midnight Madness team in Germany this month - Credit: Archant

Leopards ace helps squad reach GRC final

Romford’s Dave Ajumobi helped Britain’s Midnight Madness squad reach the final of the Germany Reality Check (GRC) streetball tournament in Cologne recently.

The GRC brings together the top summer basketball international teams from a number of regions across the globe, with America, Europe and Africa all represented.

Midnight Madness started the tournament well, eliminating teams from Holland and Congo to set up an intense semi-final against hosts Germany.

And Ajumobi put on a fantastic show for the crowd, attacking the rim with force to collect baskets throughout the competition and also playing great defence from start to finish.

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Inspired play from Hackney natives Michael Ocherobia, Allie Fullah and Samuel Toluwase kept the Brits level with the Germans going into the last minute.

And a missed three-point attempt from Germany then paved the way for a Tayo Ogedengbe ‘alley oop’ slam dunk which sealed the unexpected win for the underdog Brits and a final meeting with France.

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The French were fully loaded with four national team experienced players, including the French Eurobasket champion and national team MVP Andrew Albicy.

But despite the French ‘paper advantage’, GB’s Ashley Hamilton set the tone early on with two ferocious slam dunks.

France rallied around Albicy’s carefully crafted attack, only to be foiled time and time again by the Hamilton-led British resistance, with Orlan Jackman and Will Ohuaregbe also finding ways to punish the French offensively.

With the Brits up by three, the influential Hamilton was caught by an errant elbow that left him with a broken nose and suspected concussion and out of the competition.

The Brits dug deep through dynamic duo Jackman and Ogedengbe, but a critical mistake in the last 45 seconds gave Albicy just enough space to make the killer pass that led to a slam dunk that ultimately won the game and the title for France, who edged to a 22-18 win.

Ajumobi said: “I want to thank Midnight Madness for the opportunity to travel with the company and play in an international competition such as GRC.

“This tournament has been a learning experience for me, especially in terms of the physicality of the game of basketball. It played out as a reminder of how important mental and physical toughness is to the game.”

Midnight Madness 2015 will be bigger and better with five qualifier rounds in Birmingham, Newcastle, Loughborough, Manchester and London.

It is an opportunity for players in the UK to show and prove their skills to then travel to represent Britain in tournaments overseas.

Ajumobi added: “Players should definitely sign up to play in this year’s Midnight Madness as it’s a great chance to play against competition across the UK, and measure up against peers.

“Who knows, you might win and join the travel team to play in tournaments abroad. It’s all about getting better and the competitiveness and opportunity Midnight Madness brings to the game will only benefit players that take part.”

If you think you have what it takes to play, sign up for this year’s competition by visiting midnight-madness.com.

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