Danum Eagles lost to top of the table Bradford in what head coach Bob Martin described as one of the club’s most emotional games in their history.
Players from both sides looked on with disbelief before the contest when Eagles’ top scorer Owen Bell broke his leg and wrist in an accident during the warm-up.
Bell, who also plays for Yorkshire at junior level, had surgery over the weekend and will miss the rest of the season.
His shocked teammates would have been excused for taking their eye off the ball in the game that followed.
But they rallied to produce a performance, albeit a losing one, that left Martin brimming with pride.
Eagles’ under 15s eventually went down 81-78 to the North East Conference leaders but the American coach was keen to praise each and every one of his team following their wholehearted display.
Martin said: “In all my years in this game I have never seen anything like what happened at the weekend.
“Owen just lost balance while driving to the basket and while coming down fell and broke both his wrist and leg.
“The young Eagles gathered and put in one of the most fantastic efforts ever.
“We led the entire game and only lost it down the stretch to a talented Bradford team.
“I am so proud of these players,” he added.
“They gave every ounce of effort they could manage.”
Eagles are third in the Conference with a record of six wins and three defeats.
They host neighbours Barnsley Leaders on Saturday at Danum Academy (noon).
Danum’s Division Two Women’s team lost on the road 77-37 at Mansfield.
Marta Cepek led the Eagles with 16 points.
“The women are improving each time out,” said Martin.
“We’re looking forward to each game now with a sense that a victory is within our grasp.”
The women host Huddersfield Heat on Saturday (2pm).
Danum Eagles are to join the men’s National League later this year.
For more information about the club visit www.danumeagles.webs.com or follow them on twitter @DanumEagles.