Gloucester City Queens will host an emotional home pre-season opener next weekend against the Reading Rockets.
Having recently announced their partnership with youth development outfit the Gloucester Saxons Academy, both parties have worked hard on a way to honour Saxons former Chairman Joe Grainger, who sadly passed away last year. This has culminated in The Grainger Cup, an annual pre season event to honour Joe’s legacy.
“Myself and Joe were the first to sit down and even dare to dream this could be a reality,” said Gloucester Sport Owner Alex Petheram.
“He knew my passion for basketball and my history with it in Plymouth. Without that conversation, Jay wouldn’t be here with us, the Gloucester City Queens wouldn’t exist and we wouldn’t be welcoming you to Oxstalls Sports Park on 11 September.
“We are excited to welcome you all to the game and look forward to paying tribute to Joe in the best way we know how.”
Gloucester Sport CEO Jay Marriott added, “It was Joe’s vision to one day see professional basketball come to Gloucester. His dream will be realised for this 2021-22 season.
“It was only fitting that we create something that doesn’t just have him with us in spirit for this game but an event in the calendar every season to honour his legacy.
“We are extremely grateful to Reading Rockets for travelling to play us, I am a huge fan of their program and look forward to welcoming them to Gloucester.”
As well as the game itself both parties have created the Joe Grainger Scholarship Fund. A pot of money that will go towards a FREE season for selected youth development players who struggle financially to participate in the sport. The Gloucestershire Basketball Association have already donated £500 to get the fund started.
“Joe’s desire to see professional basketball here locally was all built around creating greater aspirations for youth players,” said Gloucester Saxons Academy Chairman Darren Cooke.
“This game would mean so much to him but what would fill his heart with joy is to see us supporting those youth most in need. He meant so much to us as a club and as a friend, we are looking forward to honouring him on the 11th.”
The game will be 2pm tip off with doors opening at 1pm on Saturday 11 September at Oxstalls Sports Park, GL2 9DW.
Tickets are just £3 for all ages and are available to book now via https://buytickets.at/gloucestercityqueens/575631.