Barking Abbey victorious in Jr. NBA Basketball England final to be girls’ champions
PUBLISHED: 13:00 28 June 2018
School triumph in competition, representing Detroit Pistons
Barking Abbey had plenty to celebrate after being crowned Jr. NBA Basketball England League girls’ champions.
Abbey, who were representing NBA side Detroit Pistons, won both of their matches at last week’s finals at the UEL SportsDock to triumph.
Eight schools were in attendance in total, with the co-ed champions also decided on the day.
Ahead of the finals, all the players from the eight schools took part in a skills clinic and a question-and-answer session with Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris.
Also in attendance were Jr. NBA League players Marc Mendoza and Oluwademilade Dada of Newham Youngbloods, who had recently taken part in the Jr. NBA World Championship Europe Camp in Slovenia.
After progressing through from their last-four tie, BA beat Harris Academy, representing Golden State Warriors, 24-20 in the final.
And coach Diana Naydenova-Goryanova believes the Jr. NBA Basketball England League success might only be the start of a successful period for her Abbey team.
“This is my second year coaching in the Jr. NBA and I’m very excited because I think we are getting better and better,” said Naydenova-Goryanova.
“We just need to keep doing stuff properly and I think then our younger players can develop into great players.
“The league is important for the girls. They realise that basketball can open so many doors, they can meet other people and make new friends. They can learn how to work as a team and that’s positive for them.”
Barking Abbey student Ines Goryanova was also pleased with the overall experience of competing in the Jr. NBA Basketball England League.
“It was fun and at most points it was challenging. Our team had to pick it up to get through to this stage, but I think it was a good experience,” she said.
“We won the league and we are very happy. I got a championship ring as well!”
The Jr. NBA Basketball England League aims to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.
As part of the NBA’s efforts to grow basketball within the UK, New York Knicks will face Washington Wizards at The O2 on January 17 in the NBA London Game 2019.
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