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Basketball legend’s new team ready for first match

04 October, 2019 — By Emily Finch

Lennox Charles with the London Zip team

“EYES always on the ball,” is the motto of Lennox Charles, a veteran basketball coach who is preparing a team of Islington youngsters for their first official match later this month.

Around 20 players from Mr Charles’s team, London Zip, gathered to train at their temporary home in Hoxton on Sunday ahead of a friendly match against Islington Wolves.

“Education ties in with sports. Basketball is very intricate and it goes hand in hand with education because it’s all about discipline,” said the Finsbury resident.

Mr Charles, 70, is famous in Union Island, the small island in St Vincent and the Grenadines where he grew up, for introducing basketball to its 1,000 or so inhabitants.

“Without basketball, I would have been nothing,” he said.

His goal now is to secure a permanent home for his team.

“My team will help build self-respect. It can really change someone’s outlook on life,” he said. “London Zip is for everyone.”

The team is backed by the Peel community charity in Finsbury.

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