Huddersfield Heat Basketball Club have folded after 23 years.

The club have claimed four titles at national level, with three promotions, and would have been in the English Basketball League Division I this coming season, but they’ve been slam dunked on the financial front.

Owner and head coach Eduardo Perez – who has bankrolled the club since a big sponsor gave backword a year ago – says they have an annual budget of £100,000 but commercial backing has not materialised and plans to return to play in Huddersfield, where they were previously based at the University, have fallen through.

“I think timing is the key word here and nothing has gone in our favour,” said Perez,

“What we’ve really needed is a backer to secure our future off the court which would allow us to do what we do best on it, but the latest funding agreement which was all signed off and ready to go was pulled from us this week.”

The Heat, who started in local and regional leagues before becoming a part of the English Basketball League, played in Halifax’s Park Lane Sports Centre at Siddal last season.

“As we’ve gone up the leagues we’ve really tried and tried to drive things in Huddersfield, particularly commercially, because we’ve been different and an attractive club, but we’ve come to the point where we simply can’t continue to operate,” added Perez, 40, who lives in Stocksmoor.

“It’s very frustrating and sad, but commitments made to us regarding funding streams have not been forthcoming, and with other uncertainties factored into this, only one logical decision remained.

“It’s a big blow to England Basketball, us going out of business, and they are as gutted as we are.

“We’ve been fairly nomadic since we left the University of Huddersfield, but we did have plans to go back to their new facility and they were really trying to help us come home, but the removal of our funding and a few other pressures have put an end to those hopes.

“Plans for our own arena were still chugging away in the background, but we’ve had to call it a day.”

Perez added: “I came here 23 years ago to study and ended up setting up the club, so it’s been my life, but in the cold light of day, from a business point of view, we can’t go any further.

Huddersfield Heat win basketball's Patrons Cup. Coach Eduardo Perez y Medina holds up the trophy.
Huddersfield Heat win basketball's Patrons Cup. Coach Eduardo Perez y Medina holds up the trophy.
 

“We have informed those players who were going to sign that they can go and find other clubs, our name has been withdrawn from the league and I really don’t see any 11th-hour reprieve at this stage for our great club.

“It’s very sad, and I don’t know what the future holds.”

Leeds Force and Bradford Dragons remain this region’s representatives. Perez thanks Nicky Brown and Simon Turton at England Basketball for their help and wished them luck.

He also thanked all those who had played for the Heat, supported them and got involved over the years.

“We are glad that our end has come at a time when we can go out on top,” he added.

“Its a shame with the circumstances that we are not able to show our worth in Division 1 this coming season, which I think we would have done. A big thank you to everyone involved in our journey.”