Introducing the Warwickshire Warriors

It is with great pride and determination that Ballers Heaven presents to you the Warwickshire Warriors.

Ballers Heaven has sourced talent for European and American high schools, putting together some of the UK’s most renowned exposure trips and camps. 

The brand will continue to provide all of these opportunities, while also providing an in-house stepping stone for player development to all ages and areas of the world. 

It has been a number of years since Head Coach Roger Payne was at the forefront of professional basketball in Coventry, after the Crusaders folded in 2011.

With the 10-year anniversary dawning, the Warwickshire Basketball League Hall Of Fame coach spearheads his own three-team programme to support elite level youth players and a national men’s team. 

Coach Payne has spent the last 10 years sourcing players for professional teams across the globe, but now, all eyes are on Warwickshire.

The team will begin in 2020-21 season with three tiers and has plans to expand on this in years to come. We hope to have your support and commitment, as you shall get the same from us.

Panel 1

Coaches

Roger Payne

Having started playing basketball in 1979, Roger became one of the region’s most well known players and coaches after representing Coventry as a point guard. His national league playing career was cut short by injuries, and in the 1990s he decided to turn his hand to coaching. 

Roger won total of 11 WBA league titles, two as a player and nine as a coach, including six championships in a row, with two of those title seasons being without a single loss. After being a joint owner of Watford and Edmonton Storm, and taking over at the Coventry Crusaders, he coached at Leicester Warriors and steered young players through the national league at a senior level. 

He has coached many of the country’s top players and in 2016 he was invited to travel around the USA and to be a coach for NBA star George Hill’s camps. He is also arranging for several NBA players to come to the UK to play and run camps in 2019.

Bryce Payne

Bryce is a Level 2 coach with many strings to his bow and will be the assistant coach for the Men’s National Basketball League Division 3 team.

Being part of a well known sporting family, Bryce grew up travelling the country with his father watching and learning the ropes. Having been asked to represent Coventry and Warwickshire and two different sports Bryce decided to concentrate on his academics throughout school and set about securing a masters degree thereafter.

Having attended the University of Worcester, Bryce would regularly take his basketball knowledge to help the university team players and give one-to-one training.

In 2019, Bryce gained his MSc in real estate and at the same time took talented British talent to Valencia, Utah and Cleveland.

Impressed with his knowledge he was offered to return to the States to help coach high school Elite programmes.

Bryce said: “I love the game and would love to explore the American circuit in due course, perhaps whilst studying a PhD.”

This season, Bryce will be developing the British talent here at home and taking the Ballers Heaven brand to the next level.

Devan Bailey

Devan has had a standout professional career playing all round the world. He has represented England and Great Britain at every level and is currently playing in France. Devan Bailey loves running camps for the youth and giving back to the community.

Pierre Henry-Fontaine

England international and Midnight Madness star, Pierre has played for many years on EBL teams in the UK, and in the BBL. He is a great favourite with the kids and has run successful camps with Ballers Heaven. He is a great personal trainer and works closely with budding young athletes as they push to achieve national honours. 

Omar Beauperthuy

Omar has worked hard over the last year to bring talented youth players to the UK and will be running a Ballers Heaven exposure camp in May 2019 that will see talented players enrol in to Ballers Heaven’s Basketball Academy, due to start in September 2020. 

Panel 2

Tournaments and tours

Las Vegas

Ballers Heaven Men’s Tour played and beat Las Vegas Unknown in their own back yard.

Vegas Unknown are the 2018 World Club Basketball Tournament champions. They invited Ballers Heaven to give them a stiff test before they start their league season.

Coach Roger Payne said: “It’s a great opportunity to look at guys ahead of the season and help those looking for exposure that would otherwise be closed to them. I’ve helped many players over the years and it’s always great to give that guy the shop window they need to be seen.” 

Roster:

Omar Beauperthuy: 6’7, NCAA Division 1, Cayman Islands international 
Samuel Toluwase: 6’4, BBL London Lions and Nigerian international 
Frantz Geico Playisir: 6’5, Cayman Islands international 
Eli Alcantar: 5’9, NAIA Division 1, Mexico 
Zach Cassita: 6’1, NCAA Divison 1, Utah
Chris Soldavini: 6’6, NCAA Division 2, California 
Ben Freeland: 6’10, Lafayette, Los Angeles 
Tyrone Keondre: 6’5, Frankfurt, Germany 
Jon Montez: 6’6, Santa Rosa, JUCO 1, Los Angeles 

Valencia

Ballers Heaven was invited to the Valencia Basketball tournament in April 2019.

As many as 20 teams competed in the Under-17 boys bracket. The team trained hard and Coach Payne said: “It’s an amazing opportunity for the guys to see what level they’re at compared to some of the best young players in Europe. They will learn about a different style of play is in Spain, but it also gives me a chance to look at guys for our new u18 national league team starting in the new season.”  

Coach Payne’s experience and worldwide contacts puts this programme ahead of the rest as many young talented players will have many doors open to them. They will travel the globe learning the game and honing their skills against the best, as well as learning from top coaches in Europe and the United States, meeting and learning from NBA stars on their journey.