West London’s Chiswick Gators maintained a perfect record throughout the 2019/20 U14 division 2 season enroute to claiming their first ever CBL crown. Led by arguably the best player in the division in Harry Godwin and hardworking head coach, Mike Kwentoh.
Godwin has a growing reputation across the city as a level-headed, cool-in-the-clutch floor general who runs his team with maturity and composure that belie his years and has been the standout player for the Gators for the past 3 seasons in the CBL. “Harry has come along way over the past few seasons and put in the work with extra running in the park amongst other things, to get in better shape to allow his ability to shine”, Kwentoh said earlier this season.
For Kwentoh, winning the Gators first CBL championship has been a long time in the making. A tireless worker himself, Kwentoh has been building an impressive club program from the ground up, in an area of London not historically known for basketball talent and so his efforts deserve applause. “Mike is an ‘old school’ coach with ‘new school’ energy and has really built something strong over in Chiswick” League Commissioner Nhamo Shire said. “His teams are always competitive and though we didn’t get to see the season playoffs this year (ed: due to COVID-19) I think it’s fair to say the Gators were the strongest team in the division overall, though we were looking forward to the big game against Gintaras that would have settled the score (ed: both teams were undefeated when the season came to an end) I think Harry ultimately would have been the difference. He’s a special young player and we look forward to seeing how he develops in the years ahead” Shire added.
In an unprecedented season of asterisks across the sporting landscape due to the pandemic impacting leagues across the world in running as they normally would, one special mention must go to the Lithuanian sensations, Gintaras. No strangers to winning U14 titles themselves in the CBL, the East Londoners only came up short this season through points differential (+35 per game for Chiswick vs +22 per game for Gintaras) and scheduling (Gintaras were yet to play Chiswick and London Knights before the season ended). “It’s a tough situation for Gintaras this season, no doubt. They did an excellent job in the games they played. However, by the results and points differential, Gators proved to be the most successful team in the league this season. We’ll never know what may have happened in the playoffs as both Gintaras and the Brent Panthers looked to be contenders – but it all adds fuel to the fire for next season where we look forward to settling all scores on the court” Shire concluded.