CHAPTER 14: 1994-95 An era ends with Rudge’s departure

THE BUCKS’ “twin towers” of Jason Siemon and Joe Belka

GREG GURR, the Australian coach and general manager who had an unhappy year in Derby

DERBY BUCKS 1994-95 (back, left to right): Andy Gardiner, Jason Siemon, Reece Horton, Joe Belka, Andy Bird, Steve Merifield. Front: Nigel Fisher, Mike Landell, Mike Gonda, Iain McKinney, Tim Lascelles, Andy Maher

MIKE GONDA, able to play for the Bucks earlier than expected after being classified as English

STEVE MERIFIELD, axed after scoring only 51 points in 10 starts for the Bucks

JASON SIEMON, the Budweiser player of the month for January, receiving his award from the league’s chief executive Mike Smith

DYLAN BOGG, picked up from Leicester just before the transfer deadline

JOE BELKA’s 17.28 points and 7.92 rebounds a game earned him the player-of-the-year award which he received from Geoff Clarke of Moor Windows

REECE HORTON, at the time the biggest Englishman to have played for Derby

HOW the Derby Telegraph reported the infamous game against Leopards

TIM RUDGE hands over the basketball franchise to its new owner Mike Horton

JEFF JONES, the first coach hired by Mike Horton

CHAPTER 15: 1995-96 The Storm clouds start to lift

DERBY STORM 1995-96 (back, left to right): Tony Simms, Martin Ford, Reece Horton, Matt Meakin, Tony King, Kurt Samuels. Front: Tim Lascelles, LaKeith Humphrey, John Leahy, Mike Gonda

LaKEITH HUMPHREY, the point guard who averaged 19.64 points and 5.86 assists per game but didn’t mix with his team mates off court

JOHN LEAHY whose 14.89 points and 6.56 rebounds per game didn’t add up to the impact expected of an American in this country

TONY IRONMONGER of Ewart Chain, later to become the Storm’s general manager, in the industrial unit which became the Storm’s training centre

TONY SIMMS who earned his 18th England cap while playing for the Storm

STORM owner Mike Horton in the training centre which was the envy of every club in the country

KURT SAMUELS: perplexingly inconsistent during his second spell with Derby

MATT MEAKIN, back for his second spell with Derby after graduating from college in the United States

MIKE GONDA, an increasingly important spark off the bench in his second season at Derby

JEFF JONES who led the Storm to the play-offs in his first season in Derby

LaKEITH HUMPHREY, the supporters’ player of the year who averaged almost 20 points a game in his only season in Derby

CHAPTER 16: 1996-97 No allies for Storm in Yanks’ invasion

ROD GREGOIRE, seen by Jeff Jones as the on-court leader the Storm had lacked the previous season

CURTIS ROBINSON who chose to play for the Storm rather than London Towers

THE TEAM that started the 1996-97 season (back, left to right): Brian Dobson (assistant coach), Masai Ujiri, Jimmy Ratliff, Steve McGlothin, Curtis Robinson, Dion Harper. Front: Matt Shaw, Mike Gonda, Jeff Jones (coach), Tim Lascelles, Steve Astle, Rod Gregoire

STEVE McGLOTHIN who averaged 13.22 points and 7.06 rebounds a game but rarely used his height and weight to greatest effect

MASAI UJIRI, the 24-year-old guard who was born in Bournemouth

JIMMY RATLIFF, a popular player who was missed when injuries kept him out of the team

MIKE GONDA who went back to the States after being offered a job at his old university

DAVE ATTEWELL whose potential earned him a spot on the Storm team for the second half of the season

LORENZO PEARSON, a jovial character from the University of Miami, with Hoop Dreams

CORY McGEE, the third point guard used by the Storm in 1996-97 who averaged 12.22 points and 3.56 assists in 18 games

TIM LASCELLES: scathing attack on the club’s Americans

BRYAN BALSER who had a useful first season for the Storm

CHAPTER 17: 1997-98 Tucker time, overtime and play-off time

STEVE TUCKER, the former wild man of English basketball, who left the club after only four months in charge

TED BERRY who averaged 21.42 points and 4.7 assists although he was unable to win a game down the stretch

DeRON RUTLEDGE, known as the “quiet assassin”, whose return to the States to recover from injury left a huge gap in the Storm line-up

SHAWN SMITH, a great favourite with the fans who despite his talents rarely believed he could take over a game in this country

STEDROY BAKER, a tremendously popular player who struggled in the first half of the season. “Tucker got inside my head,” he said

JOHN STEVENS, considered not good enough for the Budweiser League, who left the Storm in December

TONY “HURRICANE” WINDLESS who made a vast difference after signing for Derby in November although he suffered a number of injuries

BRENDAN GRAVES, a solid performer with 10.82 points and 7.86 rebounds a game although he lacked a killer instinct close to the basket

THE TEAM that took to the floor for the Storm in the second half of the 1997-98 season (back, left to right): Shawn Smith, DeRon Rutledge, Dave Attewell, Ian Whyte, Brendan Graves, Tony Windless. Front: Ricky Middleton, Matt Shaw, Stedroy Baker, Ted Berry, Simon Spencer, Bryan Balser

IAN WHYTE, at 7ft 1in one of the tallest men to play for the Storm, although he made only five appearances before returning to European basketball

LASZLO NEMETH, refused a work permit to coach the Storm as well as England

TED BERRY whose game improved when Jeff Jones took over as coach

DAVE ATTEWELL, winner of the player-of-the-year award and later presented with the Budweiser League fair play award

TONY WINDLESS who scored the basket that gave the Storm victory in overtime in the play-off game at Birmingham


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