Month: August 2017

Kaiyem Cleary Moves on

Magic and Loreto star Cleary to make US switch

Kaiyem Cleary has enjoyed a stellar summer, helping Great Britain’s Under-18s clinch promotion to Division A of the FIBA European Championships.

The Manchester Magic and Loreto College star, 18, now heads to the United States to continue his flourishing basketball career.

We caught up with him before he left…

Congratulations. A great summer with GB and now you’re off to the US. What emotions are currently running through your head?

Kaiyem: The main one is just excitement. This is what I have been working towards since I came to the club as a 12-year-old. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. Now that it’s happening, it feels like a dream. It doesn’t seem real and it hasn’t really sunk in. I can’t wait to go and I’m so excited.

Tell me more about the GB experience…. was it everything you thought it would be?

Kaiyem: It was and so much more. As a team, we played very well and I was proud of my overall performance. I’ve come back a better player thanks to the whole experience. I had a lot of faith in the players and the coaches, so I expected us to do well, but it was mindblowing to finish second and make the country proud. We worked so hard. I also give a lot of credit to Coach Alan (Keane). He coached us well and knew what to do with the players.

And now you are off to the States…. where exactly are you going and why?

Kaiyem: I’m going to prep school for a year, to Redemption Christian Academy in Northfield, Massachusetts. I want another year of improvement and to experience life in the States before I go to college. I want to be the best player I possibly can be before making that step.

Kaiyem Cleary

It means you say goodbye to the Magic and Loreto… how will you look back on your time here?

Kaiyem: I want to thank the club and the coaches so much. They have given me everything… the tools to succeed. I wouldn’t be the player I am without them.

What’s your favourite memory from your time with Magic?

Kaiyem: Winning the national title with Magic U16s in 2015. We’d been beaten by Cheshire Wire three times during the season, by around 30 points each time. But when we played them at Final Fours, we were so fired up that we blew them off the floor. Then, in the final, we beat Newham Youngbloods. I was given MVP after scoring 26 points with 9 rebounds.

And with Loreto?

Kaiyem: The first EABL game this season against Bournville College. I scored 36 points and was named EABL Player of the Week. Being part of the Loreto basketball programme has been very rewarding. We’ve been up against some very good teams with older players, yet we’ve worked hard and battled really well. Loreto has given me a lot.

Finally, what’s the one piece of advice you would give players looking to follow in your footsteps?

Kaiyem: You’ve got to work hard and work consistently, both on and off the court. You have to take care of the little things, too, like stretching, hydrating, eating and sleeping well. And of course, it’s very important to stay on top of your school work.

Thanks and good luck.

Michael Anumba Number 1

Magic’s Michael Anumba crowned number 1 at Deng Top 50 Camp

Magic’s Michael Anumba has been crowned the number 1 Under 18 player in the Country after attending the Deng Top 50 Camp 2017 over 23rd – 26th August, held at Crystal Palace.

He was joined in the top 10 by Arinze Emeka-Anaykwo who ranked 7th, and Josh Pearce was also in attendance representing the Magic.

Both Michael and Arinze made the All-Star game at the end of the camp, which was made up of the top 20 players in attendance.

Michael also picked up the defensive player of the camp to add to his number 1 overall player at the camp a position he held from day 2 to the end of the camp.

Hear what Michael had to say about being number one after day 3 of the camp:

WATCH: Michael Anumba’s Deng Camp highlights here

Hinds and Lee

Mystics’ Hinds, Lee and Harwood-Bellis and the GB U16 Girls finish 18th at the European Championships

Manchester Mystics juniors Ashana Hinds, Khia Lee and Rebecca Harwood-Bellis were selected in the final 12 of the GB Under 16 Girls for the FIBA European Championships in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.

GB U16 Girls Schedule:

Division B – 17th – 26th August – Group D in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

Thu 17th at 3:30pm GB 53 – 67 Denmark Ashana played 26 minutes, 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, Khia played 22 minutes, 8 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, Rebecca played 7 minutes, 3 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal

Fri 18th at 11:00am GB 68 – 35 Albania Ashana played 22 minutes, 6 points 3 rebounds, 1 assist, Khia played 11 minutes, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal, Rebecca played 13 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block

Sat 19th at 11:00am GB 39 – 79 Switzerland Ashana played 18 minutes, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal, Khia played 15 minutes, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, Rebecca played 13 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal

Mon 21st at 1:15pm GB 36 – 47 Slovak Republic Ashana played 28 minutes, 1 point, 4 rebounds, Khia played 18 minutes, 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals and Rebecca played 5 minutes

Tue 22nd at 1:15pm GB 43 – 56 Bosnia and Herzegovina Ashana played 19 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, Khia played 22 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, Rebecca played 3 minutes, 1 rebound

Fri 25th at 11:00am GB 43 – 42 Iceland 17-22 Classification Games, Ashana played 23 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound 1 steal, Khia played 18 minutes, 3 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, Rebecca played 2 minutes, 3 points

Sat 26th at 11:00am GB 50 – 53  MKD 17-18 Classification Games, Ashana played 26 minutes, 9 points, 3 rebounds, Khia played 16 minutes, 2 rebounds and Rebecca played 4 minutes, 1 steal

GB Under 16 Girls finished 18th

(UK times, follow links for LiveStats)

All GB games for U20, U18 and U16 Men and Women will be Live Streamed on YouTube:

Kaiyem Cleary

Silver for Kaiyem Cleary and the GB U18 squad at European Championships

Magic’s Kaiyem Cleary was selected in the final 12 of the GB Under 18 Mens squad for the FIBA Under 18 Mens European Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, where the team claimed the silver medal in the final after going down to Croatia in overtime.

GB U18 Men Results/Stats (Division B – 28th July – 6th August – Group A):

Fri 28th at 11:45am GB 84 – 55 Czech Republic Kaiyem played 16 minutes, 5 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists

Sat 29th at 6:30pm GB 87 – 76 Netherlands Kaiyem played 23 minutes, 7 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists and 2 steals

Sun 30th at 4:15pm GB 67 – 69 Sweden Kaiyem played 22 minutes, 8 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks

Tue 1st at 2:00pm GB 91 – 82 Luxembourg Kaiyem played 16 minutes, 2 points, 7 rebounds and 1 steal

Wed 2nd at 11:45am GB 100 – 43 Albania Kaiyem played 20 minutes, 9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals

Fri 4th at 11:45am GB 76 – 73 Bulgaria Quarter Finals, Kaiyem played 7 minutes, 3 points and 1 assist

Sat 5th at 4:15pm Gb 75 – 61 Estonia Semi Final, Kaiyem played 7 minutes, 3 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist

Sun 6th at 6:30pm GB 84 – 90* Croatia Final *Overtime, Kaiyem played 8 minutes, 7 points, 1 rebound and 1 steal

GB U18 Men finished 2nd and gained promotion to Division A

(UK times, follow links for Stats)

All GB games for U20, U18 and U16 Men and Women will be Live Streamed on YouTube:

Manchester Magic logo

3 Magic players selected for Deng Top 50 Camp

Magic’s Michael Anumba, Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo and Josh Pearce are among the Top 50 played in Country invited to attend the Deng Camp in Crystal Palace on 23rd – 26th August. Full list here:

Magic and Mystics Coach Ollie Verbukas has been selected as one of the Head Coaches at the Camp. A full list of the coaches can be found here

DENGTOP50 is a 4-day residential camp that will invite 50 of the nation’s brightest talents to put their abilities to the test in a bid to be ranked the UK’s #1.

Each of the 50 players are hand-selected by a consortium of coaches and basketball affiliates all over the UK where they will undergo a series of individual drills, combine testing, classroom analysis, strength and conditioning training and competitive games.

Donte Gittens

Magic sign 6′ 6″ American Donte Gittens for 2017-18 season

Manchester Magic have signed 6′ 6″ American Donte Gittens for the 2017-18 season.

The Franklin Pierce University guard is tipped to be a star on and off the floor for the team as head coach Paul Middleton looks to build on another successful campaign.

The Magic were crowned National League Division One Play-Off champions last season and successfully defended their National Trophy title.

Gittens, who turns 23 on 14th August, will join a squad that includes Lee Goldsbrough, Stefan Gill, Michael Anumba, Kayin Darbey, Ryan Lewis and Tyme Regent-Bascombe.

American Duane Morgan, who was voted MVP in Magic’s two final successes, will not be returning, while Simon Anumba looks destined for a move to Europe after playing a major role last season.

Magic had already established a link with Franklin Pierce before the acquisition of Gittens.

Ellis Cooper, who played a starring role for the senior team in 2014-15 and 2015-16, was also a graduate of the New Hampshire university.

Donte Gittens

At the end of his collegiate career, in the programme’s All-Time Rankings, Gittens ranks third in total blocks (181), fifth in assists (479), 19th in points (1,311) and 19th in rebounds (551). His 181 blocks ranks 14th in the Northeast-10 Conference All-Time Rankings.

In his senior year, Donte averaged 12.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, a team-leading 5.6 assists, a team-best 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals per contest. He scored his 1,000 career-point in a career-high 27 point effort at Saint Michael’s on 16th November 2016.

“I can’t wait to get started and work as hard as I can to help this club win games,” said Gittens.

“I’m excited to be playing in Manchester, to see the beautiful city and to be part of the great community.”

Magic coach Paul Middleton added: “We were aware of Donte towards the end of last season and, given some players are moving on, we thought that he would fit in perfectly with our style of play.

“He is an exciting guard that can play and defend multiple positions, giving us some great flexibility with our line-up for next year. He is certain to bring some excitement and energy from the start.”

According to Franklin Pierce assistant basketball coach Eric MacKinnon, Gittens will be a hit.

“Donte is a tall guard who can do a lot of everything,” said MacKinnon.

“He is a spectacular athlete who is nearly impossible to stop when he gets going downhill.

“At 6′ 6″, Donte’s passing and ball-handling made him one of the toughest match-ups in our league the last four years.

“One of Donte’s best attributes is his shot-blocking ability. On top of all that, Donte is a great, young man who the fans and community will love to have around.”

If you want to get a taster of what Donte will be bringing to the Magic next season, click on the following links:

Donte Gittens, Franklin Pierce University, Coast to Coast Dunk #SCTop10

Donte Gittens Alley Oop #SCTop10

Donte Gittens’ Senior Year Highlights