BTM Basketball was founded by Ben Russell and Tom Ward, two British basketball players who took a European Academy route before embarking on US College, professional basketball and business careers. This path provided enormous benefits, experiences and development opportunities and both founders have many years practice in creating and building youth basketball development programs and basketball tours. Mark Strickland soon joined the team of directors, offering years of business experience and an expertise in company operations.
Born and raised in Brighton on the South Coast of England, Tom went on to play NCAA D1 and D2 college basketball in the USA where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology before embarking on a professional basketball career in Spain and the UK. Tom has since established a basketball academy and developed youth basketball programs and business in the UK.
Tom is passionate about player development and the impact that international coaching and competition can have on visiting individuals and teams, exposing players to unique skills and tactics and encouraging in-game adaptability.
Tom control’s the developmental aspects of the BTM program, ensuring that players on tour are maximizing their on-court development through elite coaching clinics, prestige tournaments and well-matched competition.
Mark believes in the rewarding cultural experiences that BTM tours offer visiting teams, giving the players an opportunity to experience a unique foreign environment and developing their camaraderie in the face of new and challenging obstacles.
Mark is the director of operations, coordinating the administration and ensuring that all off-court structures are in place for our exceptional BTM tours to take place.