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James wants basketball fans to fill Arena
12:00pm Friday 4th October 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
DIRECTOR of basketball Paul James is hoping Worcester Wolves’ move to the University Arena will attract bumper crowds to home games.
Tonight sees the first British Basketball League match in the £15 million Hylton Road venue with champions Leicester Riders in town (7.30).
Anticipation levels have been rising ahead of the curtain-raiser, particularly as Wolves were unable to play any games there last season due to building delays.
Although capacity is 2,000, it has been capped at around 1,400 in order to allow more space around the court.
That, however, is still more than double that of their previous home at the university’s St John’s campus sports centre and James wants the people of Worcester to embrace the arena.
He said: “We have got a fantastic team this year, we’re going to be exciting and I hope they come out and see what all the fuss is about. They can be that sixth man to spur us on to great things.
“We’ve played in front of big crowds and they get behind their team. You always want to try and silence the crowd as it lifts the home team a lot and we would like our crowd to get behind us.
“The players will respond, it will give them more energy and we’ll fight to the death to get the results we want.
“The worst thing that could possibly happen is having 1,400 people and them being quiet. It’s a matter of them playing their part as well and being loud and proud of what we’ve got here.”
Wolves opened their campaign last Saturday with a 117-60 triumph over Surrey United, in which Will Creekmore scored 32 points and pulled down 17 rebounds and Zaire Taylor scored 29 points.
James added: “It was a game that we could quite comfortably have just gone out there and won by 30 to 40 points and not played well.
“We actually did more than that so I was delighted with the whole attitude of the players and the fact that we had an opponent down and wanted to put them down even further.
“We kept playing for the whole 40 minutes and if we are to be successful that’s what we’re going to have to do against every team.”
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