Simply British Ballers


Behrad, Denzel and Ed are the brains behind Simply British Ballers (SBB), the company they created to grow basketball in the UK. They’ve definitely hit the court running, working with brands including Nike, Adidas, Footlocker and Meta, and even their holy grail, the NBA.

Back at Kent for the annual alumni basketball game, the three friends have good memories of their time at ‘the uni that changed their lives’. Behrad remembers the first time he met Ed (impressed by his basketball skills) and Denzel (great shoes). But the three really gelled on the basketball court: ‘We played and ran the basketball team, Denz was captain, Ed was President and I was Vice-President. It was a great experience and built the dynamic for what we have now.’

When Covid struck and it was no longer possible to play basketball, Behrad started to create basketball content for YouTube and SBB began to take shape. Next step was to add live basketball content. Denzel, inspired by Chicken Connoisseur, who rates chicken shops[cafés], suggested they rate basketball courts.

It wasn’t just members of the basketball community who were watching though. Within months Nike were in touch wanting to work with SBB and others followed. For Ed the development has been rapid which is exciting and challenging:

‘We’ve worked with a whole host of companies and have a contract to produce content for the NBA in the upcoming season. Now we need to build the business, we’ve built up expertise in content creation and media, so we’re helping companies with that and have plans to start an SBB Charity in the future.’

Having come so far, so fast, what advice do they have for budding entrepreneurs: ‘You have to be hardworking, focused and comfortable with feeling uncomfortable! It’s difficult but if you can create something lasting and meaningful, why wouldn’t you? Just attack it head on, and most importantly don’t be afraid to fail.’

For Behrad, Denzel and Ed though, it’s not just about building a successful company, it’s about creating a connected community whose shared passion for basketball can move the sport forward in the UK. ‘We all wanted to go to the NBA, it didn’t work out for us but we want to make sure the next generation of dreamers has a better chance of getting there. We want to inspire people to stay in the game, to play and to be creative and entrepreneurial – to turn passion into action.’