Our men's basketball programme provides a fantastic environment for elite and developing players. Coached by a current professional basketball player for Derby Trailblazers, our players have the opportunity to compete at a high level in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS). 

Team Derby Performance Basketball

Team Derby is striving to continually improve the programme and its individual athletes each year. The 2019/2020 season was highly successful with the men’s first team finishing top of Division 1A. Team Derby delivers its performance basketball programme in partnership with Derby Trailblazers. The Trailblazers has a successful professional national league programme, and many of the athletes have competed for the University and at a national league level while studying.

Programme Outline

Head Coach: Sam Masten

Sam joined Team Derby in 2023 and is excited to bring his wealth of experience into his role as head coach within our basketball performance programme.

Sam is originally from Highlands Ranch, Colorado here in the United States, which is South of Denver. Sam grew up playing basketball ever since he was 6 years old. He was fortunate to have a very decorated high school career at Rock Canyon High School winning 2018 Mr. Colorado Basketball and Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year after his senior season. After high school, he committed to play basketball at NCAA Division 1, University of Northern Colorado. He played there for three seasons and was a part of some really successful teams. After the Covid-19 Pandemic, He made the decision to transfer to Northern State University (NCAA Division 2) for his last two years of college ball. In his senior season he went 24-7 and won the NSIC Regular Season title along with an appearance in the NCAA tournament. Sam was named the NSIC Player of the Year and a 2023 Division 2 All-American. 

Sam has a tremendous passion for the game of basketball and a real appreciation for everything this game can give. He enjoys helping the team and helping them grow their skills as basketball players and young people. 

Associate Coach: Matt Shaw

Matt helps oversee the Men's basketball programme at University of Derby. Having twice been named NBL1 Coach of the Year and 4 times EABL Coach of the Year, Matt is recognized as one of the leading coaches in the UK. 

Matt has been head coach of Derby Trailblazers since 2014 compiling a 141-79 record in league play during that time. Matt also led the Trailblazers to the LLynch Trophy title in 2021/22. Matt also head coached the England U17 programme from 2013-17 and the regional Aspire programme from 2018-20. In addition, Matt is the head coach of the Derby Trailblazers Basketball Academy based at Derby College. Matt spent 5 years studying in America while on a basketball scholarship, graduating from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota in 2003. Matt was a two-time All-American student-athlete and a Deans's list student.

Player Development Lead: Jake Brown

Jake Brown joins the Team Derby basketball staff as the lead of on-court player Development. Having started playing for Derby Trailblazers at the age of 5, Jake has played at every age group of national league basketball. Brown enters his 6th season as assistant coach with Blazers’ D1 men’s team. His duties include leading the opposition and self-scouting, video analysis, and offensive systems, as well as supporting the head coach with tactical decisions in both games and practice. Brown also brings with him head coaching experience with numerous junior NBL age groups.

Brown spent the 21/22 season working with the University of Virginia basketball program under the legendary coach Tony Bennett in the ACC. During his time there he was able to observe practices and work with D1 college athletes in individual sessions. He has future plans to pursue a college coaching career.

Jake is excited about the partnership between the University of Derby and Trailblazers and looks forward to supporting the head coach Sam in developing great basketball players.

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Oscar Ruiz wearing a Team Derby t shirt, smiling.

I feel supported by the coaching staff, the facilities are amazing and you have access to sport-specific strength and conditioning sessions designed for your sport. I hope my experience will encourage others to study in the UK as I don't regret my choice.

Oscar Ruiz
Basketball Scholar Alumni
Basketball scholar, Ronald Oberia, holding a basketball, smiling.

Inspiring the next generation of basketball players

Ronald is studying BSc (Hons) Civil Engineering with Built Infrastructure. At the age of 16, he joined the City of Birmingham Rockets club. He has made a significant contribution to basketball in Derby and now competes for Derby Trailblazers in the National Basketball League.

Learn more about Ronald's journeyLearn more about Ronald's journey

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