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Two of the Cabot Learning Federation‘s premier basketball teams, Bristol Metropolitan Academy and City Academy Bristol, recently competed in the Junior National Basketball Association (NBA) finals at the University of the West of England (UWE). This exciting event featured Year 7 and Year 8 students.

These finals marked the culmination of a national tournament where co-ed teams, consisting of both boys and girls, initially participated in local fixtures before progressing through a regional playoff system. Both sides played in really tough and exciting games against teams from Worcestershire and Cornwall.

The atmosphere was electric, enhanced by Basketball England and Junior NBA, who amped up the excitement with a live MC and DJ, transforming the venue to make it feel like Madison Square Garden. Both City Academy and Bristol Metropolitan Academy proudly represented NBA teams, wearing the jerseys of the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets respectively.

City Academy’s Year 7 team fought valiantly but narrowly lost in the 3rd/4th place playoff to Penryn by just two points.

Mr Reid, who coached the side, was very proud of the team’s achievement in reaching the finals. He said, “We have taken on an incredibly-talented cohort of year 7s at City Academy and we are extremely proud to have made it to a regional basketball final. Despite facing numerous challenges on the day, every game was a learning experience and while they narrowly missed out on the podium, we have certainly laid a promising foundation for the future.” 

There was success for Bristol Metropolitan Academy’s Year 8 team, who triumphed after securing victory against Penryn in the final.

Coach Mr Wallace-Hall said, “This year they won their semi-final fixture vs Wordsworth school 37-20 to book a place in the final.

“Before the final game there was a shooting competition, one player from each school was nominated. The Bristol Met representative won the shooting competition with a score of nine points in total, earning himself the crown and giving his team some confidence going into the final.

“The championship game was a close game between Bristol Met and Penryn college; with 90 seconds left Bristol Met were up by just one point. However, some great shooting from the free throw line and a huge and one play helped Bristol Met to finish the game 32-26 and be crowned 2024 Junior NBA champions.” 

James Mooney, the CLF’s Senior Network Leader for PE, School Sport and Physical Activity, said, “Not only was the day a great experience, it was incredible to see two academies from the trust competing at the finals.

“It is a demonstration of the quality of PE and sport experiences we are providing across trust, showing that when we get PE right for all, excellence can still strive in school sporting opportunities.”