Football and rugby are Tyneside’s traditional sports, with fifty three thousand supporters regularly cramming into St.James’ Park to watch their beloved Newcastle United. In its shadow, not many streets across the city there is a quiet sporting revolution going on, led by Bronx born Fabulous Flournoy.
Fab arrived in Newcastle to be a player for the Newcastle Eagles basketball team and in 2002 became the player/manager of the team. Since then the Eagles have become the most successful team in the history of the British Basketball League, with more League Titles and cup wins than any other team; and Fab is credited with all their success.
Before coming to England Fab had played for NCAA Division one side, McNeese State University. A combination of him being a terrific player and manager, huge personality, and his community work soon made him a favourite among Newcastle sports fans. He organised out-reach programmes to take basketball into schools on an organised basis for the first time, and visited Young Offender’s Institutions to mentor the inmates, and to promote his sport as a way of keeping out of trouble.
He successfully applied for dual citizenship and is now officially a Geordie American. At the beginning of 2017 when the New Year’s Honours List was published by Buckingham Palace, Fab’s name was on it. The Queen had bestowed an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) Honour on him, for his service to British basketball and the North- East community.
So, to you Fabulous Flournoy may not be a name that you associate with being an American Icon, but here on Tyneside he is the man who gets us to drop our famous British reserve and chant, “Let’s go Eagles, Let’s go!” at his entertaining and exciting team. To Tyneside he is an American Icon held in the greatest esteem.
http://www.newcastle-eagles.com Accessed 15/02/17
http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk Accessed 15/02/17