About us

Our Story

Our purpose is to provide basketball sessions for adults and children, fostering a non-competitive environment where individuals can take part in single sessions without the obligation of regular training or games.

Our community club aims to promote the love of basketball and provide a platform for players of all skill levels to come together, improve their skills, and enjoy the sport. Our regular players will support and encourage you to improve and develop your skills.

Why We Play: Basketball is our passion, at the very core of everything we do. Crystal Palace Basketball brings together players from all over the world, now residing in and around South East London, who share this enthusiasm. We gather for 5v5, full-court, indoor basketball twice a week at the historic Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

Come and be part of our vibrant basketball community at Crystal Palace. Join us for exhilarating sessions and a shared passion for the game!

Our Trustees

Bilal El Amri - Trustee Chair

My basketball journey began at the young age of 10 in Spain, and it has been an integral part of my life ever since.

Throughout my basketball career, I have both played the sport and contributed to its administration. My passion for basketball led me to actively engage in administrative tasks with my local club, AB El Vendrell, in my hometown. This experience provided me with valuable insights into the organizational aspects of the game. 

Since 2013, I have been coaching basketball, a journey that has been immensely rewarding. Currently, I take immense pride in serving as a Coach and Membership Director for Love Basketball Academy, focusing on training women and U-18s players.

However, as of February 2024, I have transitioned away from Love Basketball Academy to fully commit myself to our Charity. I am now dedicated to managing the Crystal Palace BC sessions, and more recently, we established our non-profit organisation to foster a thriving basketball community. Our mission is to support players of all skill levels, ages, genders, and backgrounds, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the sport to the fullest.

Being part of the Love Basketball Academy allowed me to make a meaningful impact on the lives of aspiring athletes. Witnessing their growth, not just as players but also as individuals, brought me immense joy.

On a personal note, I am a devoted supporter of FC Barcelona, a team that holds a special place in my heart. However, I still have space in my heart for Juventud de Badalona and Zalgiris BC.

Christian Lacsina - Trustee

I love this game; I am obsessed with Basketball. From the minuet nuances of correct technique and footwork. The gritty lockdown defence, to the massive nasty in your face dunks and silky smooth jumpers.

This sport is in my blood, it’s part of my cultural heritage. So even being born and raised in Sunny South London and in a country where Basketball is somewhat of a niche subject, I could not avoid the game.



On my basketball journey, I know how hard it is to find a place to hoop regularly particularly indoors. I was fortunate to have found CPBC a few years ago and have been hooping at CPBC ever since. And the bonus is I get to hoop at Crystal Palace Sports Arena; the place where I spent my adolescent years training and playing with the youth league team and attending many summer training camps. So, it appears I have come full circle.

I have worked in the community as a coach, working with children, adolescents, and adults. So, when the opportunity arose to get involved with helping to run CPBC, I guess I naturally gravitated towards it. And I’m honoured to have been made one of the Trustees of the club.

We pride ourselves on providing a place where the novice hoopers and experienced veterans (aka old boys like me) can run in an environment where they can let their hair down and straight up just hoop with a reasonably competitive and definitely fun vibe.

As well as scrimmaging, I enjoy helping all players of all abilities improve, my small 5”6 frame houses infinite basketball knowledge so feel free to pick my brain.

Come and run with us, and I will drop you some sweet no look dimes.

“The Point God” (Well my ego makes me think I am Hahaha!)

Donatas Narauskas - Trustee

The name is Donatas, also known as Don, a passionate basketball enthusiast with deep roots in Klaipeda, Lithuania. His love for the sport started at a young age of 6, and he quickly became a talented player. As a die-hard basketball fan, he proudly supports his home team, Klaipedos Neptunas.


In 1996, Donatas embarked on a new journey, moving to London. Despite the change in location, his love for basketball remained unwavering. He played football for a while, but couldn’t resist the allure of the basketball court. In 2009, fate led him to an ad on Gumtree, inviting him to join the first-ever basketball session at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, which marked the beginning of CPBC (Crystal Palace Basketball Club).

His dedication and leadership skills were evident, as he took charge of organising one and eventually two basketball sessions per week until 2021. After years of being an active player and driving force behind CPBC, he decided to retire from playing, but his impact on the club will always be remembered.

Known as the “Lithuania corridor,” Donatas proudly represents his homeland and follows the EuroLeague team Zalgiris. Additionally, he organises annual trips back to Lithuania to witness the excitement of EuroLeague basketball.

Donatas’s journey exemplifies a true basketball lover, whose passion for the sport has shaped his life and connected him with fellow enthusiasts around the world.

Our Founders & Supporters

Tomasz Swacha - Founder

I wanted to share a little bit about the story behind the Crystal Palace Basketball Club, which I founded back in 2009.

Basketball has always held a special place in my heart since my early teens. From following the NBA to the Polish league, I’ve been captivated by the sport. When I moved to the UK, I was determined to find a place where I could continue playing and connecting with fellow basketball enthusiasts.



After some searching, I discovered a wonderful social club in Putney. However, the long drive for sessions twice a week became quite challenging. That’s when the idea was presented to me to utilise the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, conveniently located within walking distance from my house.

With excitement and determination, I booked the arena and put up an advert on Gumtree. Little did I know that this decision would shape the future of the club. Over time, the Crystal Palace Basketball Club grew into a thriving community, thanks to the incredible individuals who now run it.

Although I no longer live close to Crystal Palace, I am immensely proud of the journey we’ve embarked on together. It’s been a testament to the power of passion and the love for the game. I am grateful to everyone who has been a part of this incredible journey.

Thank you for being a part of this story, and let’s keep the spirit of this beautiful sport alive!

Paul Layzell - Graphic Designer

Paul Layzell is an animator and artist currently living in Los Angeles, CA. But before that he was a proud member of the Crystal Palace Basketball Club from 2014-2019.

A frequent player at Hilly Fields basketball court he was invited by a friend to come try the runs at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on weeknights. In his 5 years at the club he made many great friends, played many great (and not so great) games, and even re-designed the club logo! Paul still plays pick-up in and around east LA and occasionally sports the old CPBC strip.

Richard Anderson - Marketing Manager

Richard came to Crystal Palace Basketball Club in 2015 with a lack of skill, but a bag of enthusiasm and desire to improve both fitness and ability.

A South East London local, born in Woolwich and living around there and Lewisham most of his life, it was important for him to find a basketball community situated in the South, with a positive energy that reflected the area.

At Crystal Palace Basketball Club, Richard improved as a player, competing in organised leagues (taking home gold medals in the process); galvanised the team through organising training sessions; managed the production of team apparel and most of all honed a 3-point shot that demands respect.