Worthing Thunder have been invited to play in basketball's top flight next season.

But there is bad news for Brighton Cougars, whose bid to enter the British Basketball League has been turned down.

Thunder must now consider the terms of a franchise agreement issued by the BBL.

If they accept, it will mean a return of top-flight basketball to the Leisure Centre nine years after Worthing Bears moved out to play in Brighton.

Thunder have recently missed out on a third successive title in the England Basketball League but have been encouraged by crowds of about 650 and 500 for their last two home matches.

Frank Gainsbury, one of the directors ready to take control of the club at the end of the season, said: "We are delighted to be offered a place."

Thunder's incoming board of directors will meet tonight to discuss the next step.

Meawhile Cougars admit they are disappointed not to get the green light.

Anne Baverstock, the club's administrative director, said: "We would like to extend sincere thanks to all those businesses and individuals who have supported us to date and we look forward to maintaining those positive relationships into the future."

Would you support Worthing Thunder in the BBL? Add your comment below