University Senior Leader Recognised Nationally for Contribution to Basketball

A senior leader at the University of Worcester has been recognised with a national award honouring his services to basketball.

Pro Vice Chancellor Partnerships, Mick Donovan, received the English Basketball Fellowship Jubilee Award: Lifetime Award for Services to Basketball, recognising lifelong commitment to the sport in this country and internationally.

Mr Donovan said: “I am absolutely thrilled to receive such a prestigious award and have continued to learn from many respected basketball people in the UK and internationally. Whilst achieving success with many of the teams has been fulfilling, the real reward has been in having the opportunity to introduce so many people to the game as players, coaches and educators.”

The Award has been presented to a member of the Fellowship annually since 1987, with the recipient voted on by the Fellowship’s committee.

Mr Donovan is the co-founder of the University of Worcester-owned Worcester Wolves basketball franchise and since its formation in 2000 has previously held roles as the Coach and Managing Director and is currently the Chairman. The side has previously won the BBL (British Basketball League) Cup twice, the BBL Play-off and the BBL Trophy.

Mr Donovan’s love for the game developed early in his career as a PE teacher when he coached several secondary school teams to the National Schools Finals, while also encouraging participation at all levels.

He went on to be Head Coach of the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) basketball team at the University of Warwick for three years.

After joining the University of Worcester in 2000, he redeveloped its basketball programme and the University’s BUCS side became Champions on eight occasions.

He played a leading role in the creation of the University of Worcester Arena, which has hosted several NBL (National Basketball League) and BBL finals, international GB games, hosted the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships in 2015 and was the home for GB Women’s Wheelchair Basketball.

Alongside university and elite level sport, he has also made an impact in other ways on the sport. Mr Donovan played a leading role in the creation of the National Basketball Heritage Centre, the central collection of basketball history related material, now based at the University.

He has been instrumental in the University’s basketball partnerships formed with the Lithuanian Basketball Federation, Valencia Basket and Beijing Sport University.

He created the Valencia/ Worcester Basketball summer camp in partnership with Spanish club Valencia Basket. It sees hundreds of youngsters from the UK and Spain take part in a week-long camp with sessions delivered by coaches from Valencia Basket, the University and Worcester Wolves.

Andrew Milbourne, Chair of the English Basketball Fellowship, who presented the award, said: “It was a huge honour to present this trophy to Mick. The Fellowship committee recognised his long standing and continued commitment to basketball at all levels and this recognition is well-deserved.”

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