Essex Leopards given Basketball League franchise status
The British Basketball League (BBL) have granted franchise status to Essex Leopards from the 2013/2014 season.
The English Basketball League (EBL) Division One, play-off and National Cup champions will continue to play in the EBL next season before making the move.
This period allows Leopards to finalise preparations for the BBL.
After their recent change in name from the London to Essex Leopards, the Leopards admitted they were targeting this move.
Upon the announcement, Leopards managing director Gareth Roberts said: "We are really pleased to be able to bring professional basketball back to Essex.
"When we reformed the club in 2004, this was always our aim and we are very pleased to now be in a position to play again at the top level of British Basketball."