Basketball is back!

EABL basketball is back, with Basketball England announcing a new seven-week competition set to get under way next month.

Featuring 15 EABL and 12 WEABL sides, the Summer Showcase has been designed to provide access to high-quality competition for young elite players in order to enhance their development and progression opportunities.

Beginning in the first week of May and with a focus on player development, the Showcase won’t crown an overall team winner upon completion, instead aiming to stage as many games as possible in a safe and responsible environment, given the current COVID climate.

Myerscough head coach Neal Hopkins said: “It is great to be back! This has been a long time coming and I think I speak on behalf of everyone in saying that I’m excited to see the players back on the court after such a difficult time.

“I hope as a league we are able to put on a great show!”

Myerscough’s Franklin Agu (Myerscough College)

Itchen’s WEABL head coach Vicky Milner added: “We’re really looking forward to the Summer Showcase event and seeing what we can do as a group.

“COVID has made it hard for everyone this year, especially the U19s who have missed a whole year of competition and games. This event will enable them to get out on the court, compete and have something to prepare for.

“It’s felt like the longest pre-season ever but we are ready to go.”

The Showcase will run across seven fixture weeks in May and June, with all fixtures of a given week being completed by Sunday evening.

The schedule will be split into North and South pools, with no crossover between the pools at any point. Some fixtures will be played at a single venue, with some game weeks using a ‘bubble’ site to host multiple games on one day.

Itchen’s Faye Endean (Luke Simcock)

The teams for this year’s Summer Showcase are as follows:

EABL

Northern ConferenceSouthern Conference
Charnwood College RidersBarking Abbey Academy
Derby College TrailblazersCity of London Academy
James Watt College-BMetCopleston High School
Manchester Magic AcademyItchen College
Myerscough CollegeJohn Madejski Academy
Newcastle Eagles AcademyOaklands College
SGS CollegeThe Canterbury Academy
The Sheffield College

WEABL

Northern ConferenceSouthern Conference
Charnwood College RidersBarking Abbey Academy
Derby College TrailblazersCity of London Academy
James Watt College-BMetCopleston High School
Manchester Mystics AcademyItchen College
Nottingham Academy WildcatsJohn Madejski Academy
The Sheffield CollegeOaklands College

The new competition isn’t just exciting for EABL fans but players as well, who have endured a significant layoff due to the COVID pandemic.

Myerscough’s Franklin Agu said: “I am really excited for the Summer Showcase, we have all been waiting for this for over a year.

“It is going to be great to get back on court with my teammates and I look forward to competing in every game.”

Itchen’s Faye Endean added: “I’m really excited to start the Summer Showcase and compete against the best u19 talent in the country.

“Pre-season with my teammates has been too long and we are ready to play.”

Stay tuned to the EABL and WEABL social channels for more updates throughout the Summer Showcase, beginning with next week’s opening fixtures.

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