The Leopards Basketball franchise was created in 1994 under the ownership of the Allied Entertainments Group plc with the London Arena as their home venue. During their 5 years at the London Arena they were very successful, winning back-to-back League titles in 1997 and 1998 and the National Cup in 1997. They also produced two League MVP’s in 1997 John White and, in 1998 Eric Burks. Their coach Billy Mims was also voted “League Coach of the Year” in 1998.
In 1999 the Club made a dramatic move, released their coach of the past 5 years, and hired the renowned Bob Donewald. Since then the Leopards have been back in the press on a very regular basis, most often for their off- the-court activities. Also in 1999, the Leopards moved their home venue to the Brentwood Centre in Brentwood, Essex which, after the first full season in 1999/2000, proved to be a great success. With the administrative move to Brentwood in July 2000, the Leopards organisation completed their transition into the heart of Essex.
Following the departure of Bob Donewald to NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, now the New Orleans Hornets, 2001 heralded the arrival of coach Chris Pullem, who quickly proved himself to be both a worthy successor and a popular character with the club’s enthusiastic supporters. Chris departed in the Spring of 2002 to a College coaching position in the USA. Leopards, in Summer 2002, found themselves not only with a new coach, Mike Taylor, but also a vibrant new squad namely, Sly McIntosh, Trevor ‘Ice’ Diggs, David Fisher, Derrick Freeman, Yorick Williams and Taron Trahan. The squad is completed by the return, for yet another season, of Rod Brown as Captain and Leopards fans’ favourite, David Attewell.
In keeping with their total commitment to the community, the Leopards management have now changed the name of the club to DG Essex Leopards Kool Kats. This in itself proves that the club have now made their permanent home officially in Brentwood, Essex.
The Leopards are now majority-owned by Ed and Annie-T Simons. Ed is personally committed to the success of the team and the overall growth of basketball in the UK. He is also a Director of the League’s TV and media committee and was responsible for negotiating contracts with both BskyB and the BBC.(Please support his new business unblock tv box apk ) The Managing Director of the Leopards is Annie-T who, in addition to her responsibilities to the Leopards, also covers all public relations.
Maureen French, General Manager of the Leopards organisation at Brentwood, is entering her third season with the club. She has proved invaluable to Annie-T, Ed, coaches and players, both past and present, and keeps the club ticking over, which in all fairness, is a pretty hard job. Maureen is the hub that keeps the cogs turning and ultimately enables the team to devote themselves to the game of basketball.
Sue Dicker has recently joined the Leopards family. Arriving just in time to meet and greet new coach, Mike T and his new squad. A fan from London Arena days, Sue is now working as both Administrative Assistant to Maureen French and Sales and Marketing Coordinator, dealing with day-to-day marketing which will, she hopes, end the season with the greatest fan base in the BBL.
Nav Oojageer, known to his fans as “The Bald MC” is the club’s Schools & Entertainments Coordinator. His role within the club is to promote and maintain coaching sessions within schools throughout Essex. Nav heads the Leopards Academy which supports the Awards for All scheme in conjunction with all schools throughout Essex. He coordinates the entertainment roster for home games, which includes looking after both our Cheerleading team ‘Pulse’ and any entertainment groups booked to play at home games. Nav is, in his own right, a great entertainer and ‘fires’ the crowd into almost a frenzy which in turn produces fantastic basketball.