U18 boys and girls

As the players come to the end of their junior playing years the U18s is a bridge between youth and senior basketball. They meet once a month and can expect to play in several tournaments throughout the year, including a tri-nations tournament with England and Scotland.

Azeb Smalley – U18 girls

My name is Azeb Smalley. I was born in Ethiopia, lived there for 11 years then moved to Kenya for 7 before I came to Cardiff in 2009.

My coaching career started off in 2010 when I volunteered with the Learning Disability group at Cardiff Met. I was never sure if coaching was something I really wanted to get into or was really an option.

However I was given the opportunity to coach the U16 girls at Cardiff Met and since then I have found a real love for coaching. Being in Wales has given me so many opportunities I never thought were possible, from FIBA small countries, assisting the Senior Men in two BBL trophy games to becoming Head Coach for the U18 Women. 

Coaching the the U16 and now U18 women is an experience that I will never forget because of the great group of girls they are. Not only are they the most talented in the country but the relationship that I have built with them will stick with me. They have made my coaching journey enjoyable, challenging and irreplaceable. 

Dr. Nick O’Leary – U18 boys

Here’s the CV of our new U18 boys coach…


  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) based (largely) around the teaching of games 
  • University of Wolverhampton Course Leader for Bachelor of Arts Physical Education & School Sport degree. Also lectures on the Bachelor of Science Sports Coaching degree.  
  • England Basketball Coach Tutor 
  • England Basketball Senior Coach (Level 4) 
  • Currently Studying a Master’s degree in Elite Coaching 

Coaching consultancy 

  • 2020 – to present: Basketball England coaching game-based approaches technical adviser 
  • 2020 – to present: Author and technical advisor of Basketball England Secondary Teachers Award 
  • 2020 – to present: Author and technical advisor of Basketball England Primary Teachers Award 
  • Author and technical advisor of Coaching Games Strategies and Tactics in collaboration with Sports Structures (National Coaching Consultancy Company) 
  • 2018 – to present: Coaching game-based approaches technical adviser for Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball in writing their Level 1 and 2 coaching qualifications 
  • 2019 – 2020: Wales Basketball tactical/games based coaching mentor for three junior national coaches  

Coaching experience

  • Wales U18 Men’s Head Coach 
  • Wales U16 Men’s Head Coach – European bronze medal 
  • Wales U16 Men’s Assistant Coach – European silver medal 
  • Shropshire Warriors Senior Men’s Head Coach (NBL Division 4) 
  • Black Country Bears Senior Men’s Head Coach (NBL Division 1) 
  • Black Country Wolves Senior Men’s Head Coach (NBL Division 3) 
  • University of Wolverhampton Senior Men’s Head Coach (BUSA) 
  • University of Loughborough Senior Men’s Assistant Coach (BUSA) 
  • Brighton Cougars Senior Men’s Head Coach (NBL Div. 3) 
  • Coached various junior NBL teams and regional teams 
  • Coached at over 50 international and national basketball camps 
  • Coaching qualifications in a further 12 sports 
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