On Thursday 15th June, Ashfield School’s Year 8/9 basketball team played in the Jr NBA Finals takings place at Nottingham Trent University. The team reached this stage last year with most of the same students, claiming a bronze medal and finishing 3rd out of 30 schools that took part. This year some familiar faces alongside some new recruits helped the team reach the finals again.

With 4 teams taking part in their year group and schools travelling from all over the Midlands. Ashfield’s first game was against Arnold Hill Spencer (A team the school closely beat during the group stage). During the first quarter, Ashfield took a brilliant 14-0 lead and were flying through some brilliant counterplay by team members Jenson  and Conal! Steven with his usual flair also added half the points to the lead. Despite a rebound from our opponents, we managed to ease to a 28-15 victory which saw the students do one better than last year and reach the final for the East Midlands.

Onto the final now, and after watching their new opponents earlier in the day the team knew it was going to be a tough game. Coming up against Twycross House School! Points were scored by a selection of the squad, where all 12 players rotated and got even game time throughout. The energy coming from Keyla, running at players and being physical all over the court! Ashfield were leading 21-18 going into the final quarter where both teams took advantage of not having half-court defence apply anymore. This led to high press in both teams’ defences, and possession being turned over on many occasions. The final minute was slowly ticking away as we lead 27-26. With a couple of missed shots in the dying seconds, Jenson finally got possession of the ball and launched it to the other side of the court signalling the buzzer and a roar of celebration from our bench. This year was Ashfield’s year and they were crowned Jr NBA East Midlands Champions 2023!

Ashton 8HA2, Ayomide 9TH1, Conal 9BY1, Jenson 8CO2, Keyla 8BY1, Riley 9HA2, Vienna 8TH2, Gabriel 9CO2, Tia 8TH2, Steven 9BY1, Oliver 8HA2