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Marshland High School teams book their place in Junior National Basketball Association event





Young basketball players from West Walton are celebrating after both of their teams won eight out of eight games to qualify for the quarter-finals of a national competition.

Playing as the Detroit Pistons, Marshland High School’s Year 7 and 8 basketball teams are taking part in the Jr NBA (Junior National Basketball Association) Competition, which pits schools from across England against one another in leagues where they each represent one of the 30 American NBA teams.

Created to encourage more 11 to 13-year-olds to play basketball, the event is organised and operated by Basketball England in association with the NBA, and includes 24 leagues across all regions of England.

Year 8 players from Marshland High School
Year 8 players from Marshland High School
Year 7 players from Marshland High School
Year 7 players from Marshland High School

Last year, 720 schools took part, with over 10,000 young basketball players competing in the contest, where each team plays eight regular season games in four triangular fixtures against others in their division.

“Both our Year 7s and 8s have topped their group with eight wins for eight in the England Basketball Jr NBA competition,” said Dominic Stannard, PE teacher and head of character and culture at Marshland, which is part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust.

“The Year 7’s biggest win was 59-2 and closest game 30-14, and Year 8’s biggest win was 42-0 and closest game 28-21.

“We all love the Jr NBA at Marshland, and are so appreciative of the opportunities that England Basketball provides. The concept of representing an NBA franchise and getting regular games really does motivate students to get involved.”

Both Marshland teams have their fair share of talent and some players have gone on to join the King’s Lynn Basketball Club.

“In Year 7, Amiras Lukosevicius is an absolutely outstanding player,” continued Mr Stannard. “

His club coach has said he is the best Under-12 in the country, and I can see why – he has the potential to make it professionally and has 207 points on his own in the group stage.

“Jack Braizer has developed brilliantly playing centre, and WIlliam White is a very clever player.

“In Year 8, point guard Charlie Emery is very talented dribbling with the ball and has scored plenty of baskets. Thomas Gooch has been playing very well on offence and defence.

"Harvey Taylor uses his height to his advantage, and George Spittle is so intelligent on court with his movement and off-the-ball work.”

Having dispatched opponents from Thomas Clarkson Academy, Wisbech; Nicholas Hamond, Swaffham; King Edward School, King's Lynn and Dereham's Neatherd, the Marshland players are through to the Jr NBA quarter-finals.

“We are extremely proud of their efforts so far,” added Mr Stannard.

“Both teams are close-knit groups and support each other well, and the results have been fantastic.

“It is a pleasure to work with these students at our school and see them excel and enjoy basketball.

“I am very confident that both teams will progress through to the finals again this year, and, who knows, we may just win the competition for the first time. Both teams have some very talented players and they play well as a team.”



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