Basketball: White Rose derbies are edging closer for Sharks and Leeds

Sharks coach Atiba Lyons will be leading his team into several new venues next season.
Sharks coach Atiba Lyons will be leading his team into several new venues next season.
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The prospect of a Yorkshire derby awaits Sheffield Sharks after the British Basketball League confirmed it had received a franchise application from Leeds Carnegie basketball club.

The application request is for the 2013/14 season and is currently being considered by executives from the BBL before a decision is made.

Carnegie currently play in the English Basketball League Division One but are keen to move into the top level of the sport to take on the likes of the Sharks and last season’s triple winners the Leicester Riders.

The Star understands that Leeds will be considered more favourably for the 2014/15 campaign with a decision expected early next week.

It is not thought that the Leeds application includes plans to play at the city’s new arena, which will open on September 4.

A fellow Yorkshire club would provide a true local rival for the Sharks.

Their closest match at the moment is the 70 mile journey to Leicester. Cheshire Phoenix’s Northgate Arena is 80 miles away and journeys to Durham Wildcats, Worcester Wolves and Newcastle Eagles are all over 100 miles from the Sharks’ base at the English Institute of Sport in Attercliffe.

One new destination for Sheffield will be Birmingham after the BBL announced that a franchise has been awarded to the city.

The ‘Knights’ will play their games at the Doug Ellis Sports Centre in the Perry Barr area of Birmingham.

Another new venue for the Sharks will be the Copper Box on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

The Lions franchise will become one of the facility’s first tenants when the North Park area re-opens in July.

The BBL has had a long-standing goal of having more clubs in metropolitan areas so applications from Bristol for next season and Edinburgh for 2014/15 are being closely considered.

However, East London Royals’ proposed entrance to the league won’t happen after being forced to withdraw their application.

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