A UNIVERSITY student will combine his studies with playing elite level basketball after signing for Worcester Wolves.

Zachariah Noble, 20, will do an HND in sport, coaching and physical education alongside training and matches with the University of Worcester-owned club.

The 6ft 5ins shooting guard, who is moving from London, said: “I am excited to be given such a great opportunity at Worcester and am ready to step up to the challenge and contribute to the team.

“I am extremely proud to be part of the team and I can’t wait to start the hard work when the season begins.

“I realise being a student athlete comes with its own challenges but I am prepared to work hard to achieve my dreams.

"It won’t be easy but there is lots of support on offer at the university which is fantastic.”

Noble revealed it was only by chance he got into the sport at all after losing his place on the school football team aged 13.

“I got into it because my mum wanted to find something else for me to play because I was upset at being dropped from my primary school football team,” he said.

“I tried it once and found out I was surprisingly good at shooting and found something I was naturally gifted at. I haven’t looked back since.”

He joined the Barking Abbey academy and was part of their National Schools League winning squads at under 15s, 16s and 18s level as well as representing London at numerous training camps.

Over the years Noble has won competitions for his shooting skills.

He spent a year in France playing for BCM Gravelines Espoirs under 21s and 18s where he helped the team become vice-champions of France and Trophée du Futur champions.

Noble also had a four-month spell at TBS Academy, Spain, before returning to finish his A levels in England.

He said: “I wanted to come to Worcester because after looking at other universities Worcester stood out to me as not only being the place where I can continue my studies but also the place I feel I will be able to develop as a player during my time there.

“Being able to play with Worcester Wolves at such a young age is an incredible opportunity which I am proud and extremely grateful to be a part of.

"I am looking forward to rising to the challenge and working hard to develop my skill set and helping the team achieve success.”

University director of basketball Dale Ryan said: “We see Zac as the epitome of the young British student-athlete who comes to Worcester for the opportunity through the Wolves and university setting to complement their pursuit of a career in professional basketball and development as a player with academic study.

“We feel with his talent and understanding of the game Zac will make a valuable contribution to the success of both Wolves and the University BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) team with the ultimate aim of winning championships in both competitions.”