- National Teams
Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) made their mark on the 2012 England basketball junior landscape on Saturday at Nottingham’s Basketball Centre, both finishing the season undefeated as they won the Under-13 and Under-15 National Championships.
The titles in both age groups for NASSA came with victories over defending champions Manchester – whose final losses were their first of the season.
After last year, which saw junior basketball powerhouse Manchester winning the Under-13 title with little competition (winning both the semi-final and the final by an average of 83 points!) many believed it was a forgone conclusion they’d have the championship once again wrapped up.
NASSA however, had other ideas, beating the defending champions 75-68 to finish the season with an undefeated record. Sam Kato was named MVP finishing with 30 points whilst teammate Kevin Boatey added 29. Mate Okros and Cameron Bradburn-Lewis led Manchester with 16 each as they lost their first game of the season.
Wellingborough took 3rd beating Leeds 79-68 in the third place playoff, whilst in the semi-finals NASSA beat Leeds 75-60 and Manchester beat Wellingborough Phoenix 98-71.
2nd Manchester Magic
3rd Wellingborough Phoenix
4th Leeds Carnegie
The Under-15 championship saw the same finals match-up as last year as NASSA managed to come from behind to avenge their 2011 finals loss at the hands of Manchester.
NASSA, who were down by as many as 19, came from 12 points down to start the fourth quarter to win 90-87. It was 1997 born Calvin Kintu who was named MVP after hitting a number of clutch baskets to finish with 14 points. Jonathan James had 29 to lead NASSA before fouling out at the beginning of the fourth quarter, whilst Raheem Idris and Hamed Ali had 20 and 18 respectively for Manchester.
Haringey finished third, beating Hertfordshire 71-65 in the third place playoff. In the semi-finals, NASSA beat Haringey 94-71 whilst Manchester beat Hertfordshire 86-75.
2nd Manchester Magic
3rd Haringey Hawks
4th Hertfordshire Warriors
Did you manage to get to the Final Fours? Thoughts? Drop a comment!