Month: March 2018

Manchester Mystics

New Manchester tournament for Women’s basketball

The inaugural Maggie Forber Invitational Basketball Tournament will take place at the Amaechi Basketball Centre on 30 June and 1 July.

An eight-team competition for under-18 girls, the Manchester event has already secured entries from England and Ireland.

It will also feature host club Manchester Mystics, who will be entering two sides in the two-day tournament.

Named in honour of Maggie Forber, co-founder of the Manchester Mystics, organisers hope the event will become a permanent fixture in the basketball calendar and help raise the profile of the women’s game.

Contact the club via email at for an entry form and information pack.

The club is also on the lookout for sponsors, so please the spread the message.

All money we generate will be ploughed back into women’s basketball in Manchester.

Basketball England

Magic’s Hanson and Cavli and Mystics’ Forster selected in England U15 squads

Manchester Magic’s Ceejay Hanson and Zeki Cavli and Manchester Mystics’ Olivia Forster have been selected in the England U15 Development squads.

Basketball England announced the list of players selected for consideration for the England Under 15 girls and boys squads.

The National Camps will take place on 15 April and 20 May 2018, with the boys divided into two groups for sessions in Manchester, Lancashire and Wokingham, Berkshire and all Under 15 girls will be training together in Cranleigh, Surrey.

Sessions will take place at the same time as the Regional Performance Centre (RPC) programmes, an approach that will allow Basketball England the opportunity to test innovative ways of integrating different levels of the player pathway. Moving forward this will become a key consideration across all programmes within the Talent System.

Manchester Mystics U12 Tournament 2018

Mystics U12 joint champions at Tournament in Northants

The Manchester Mystics U12 Girls (Year 7 and below) went to Northants for a Tournament on Saturday. Despite being the youngest team participating, having only two Year 7 girls with the rest of the team being made up of Years 5 and 6, the girls were joint winners after a three-way tie with Sheffield and Northants. Nine teams took part in the Tournament and the Mystics were only beaten by Sheffield.

Teams were:

Northants, Southend, Shenley, Hounslow, Sheffield, Bucks, Brentwood, Ipswich and Manchester Mystics.

Pools of 3, and play-offs.

Results were:

Manchester 25 – 20 Brentwood

Manchester 22 – 20 Ipswich

Manchester 21 – 12 Northants (play-off)

Manchester 17 – 31 Sheffield (play-off)

Manchester Mystics U12 Northants Tournament 2018
England Commonwealth Games 2018

Mystics Jones and Allen are off to the Gold Coast with England Commonwealth Games squad

Team England have named their men’s and women’s basketball squads who will compete for Team and Country on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Manchester Mystics’ Dominique Allen and Georgia Jones have been selected in the women’s squad. The squads also include a number of former Magic and Mystics players, Hannah Shaw, Mollie Champbell and Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee join Dom and Georgia in the women’s squad, while Andrew Thomson, Callum Jones (Georgia’s brother) and Orlan Jackman have been selected in the men’s squad. Congratulations to all.

The Games begin on 4 April and basketball will be making its first appearance at the Commonwealth Games since 2006, where Team England’s men and women both came away with a bronze medal.

Both basketball teams will compete in preliminary matches in Townsville before the semi-finals and medal matches take place on the Gold Coast. Team England women are in the seeded group up against Australia, Canada and Mozambique. The men’s team are in the unseeded pool against Cameroon, India and Scotland. The top two teams in each seeded group (Pool A) progress to the semi-finals whilst the bottom two play-off against the top two teams from the unseeded group (Pool B) for the two remaining semi-final spots.

Full Squad lists


Thursday 5th April Men 17:30 (AEST) 08:30 (UK) Group B England vs Scotland

Friday 6th April Women 18:30 (AEST) 09:30 (UK) Group A Canada vs England

Saturday 7th April Men 17:30 (AEST) 08:30 (UK) Group B England vs India

Sunday 8th April Women 11:30 (AEST) 02:30 (UK) Group A Mozambique vs England

Sunday 8th April Men 14:00 (AEST) 05:00 (UK) Group B Cameroon vs England

Monday 9th April Women 17:30 (AEST) 08:30 (UK) Group A England vs Australia

Tuesday 10th April Qualifing Finals

Friday 13th April Women Semi Final

Saturday 14th April Men Semi Final

Saturday 14th April Women Medal Games

Sunday 15th April Men Medal Games

US College Update

US College Update 2018

It’s March so it’s the time of year when US Colleges are in play-off action and with a number of our former Manchester Magic and Mystics junior players currently out in the USA playing at various Colleges we thought it would be nice to give everyone an update as to how they’ve got on this season.

Aaron Menzies (Redshirt Junior) at Seattle University (NCAA Division 1 – WAC) record 20-13

Season stats: Played 33 games, 32 starts, 26.6 minutes per game, 11.1 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game, 2.2 blocks per game.

WAC Championship

Seattle U beat UTRGV 77-60 in the Quarter Finals on Thursday 8th March in Las Vegas, Nev at 8:30pm (PT), Aaron played 31 minutes had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks.

Seattle U lost 84-79 to New Mexico State in the Semi Finals on Friday 9th March in Las Vegas, Nev at 8:30pm (PT), Aaron played 34 minutes had 5 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 blocks.

Aaron earned Second Team All-WAC Honours and was also named to the All-Defensive Team.

From team’s website: Menzies averaged a double-double of 10.6 points and 10.6 rebounds during the 14-game WAC slate. The 7-3 center shot 55.6 percent from the field and 66.1 percent from the charity stripe, leading the Redhawks in made free throws during league action. His rebound average ranked second among all WAC players and his field goal percentage was fifth. His 34 blocks (2.4 per game) ranked first in the WAC, as did his 3.7 offensive boards per game.

Patrick Whelan (Senior) and Pharroh Gordon (Redshirt Junior) at William Jewell College (NCAA Division 2 – GLVC) record 20-9

Patrick’s season stats: Played 29 games, 29 starts, 31.9 minutes per game, 17.9 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, 2.0 assists per game.

Pharroh’s season stats: Played 29 games, 28 starts, 34.5 minutes per game, 14.8 points per game, 10.6 rebounds per game, 2.8 assists per game.

William Jewell lost 70-65 to top seed Bellarmine University in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship Tournament.

Pharroh played 39 minutes had 22 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steal (his 14th double-double of the season). Patrick played 30 minutes had 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Patrick and Pharroh picked up All-Great Lakes Valley Conference team selections, with Patrick one of ten athletes listed on the first team, while Pharroh earned second team and All-Defensive team honours.

From team’s website: Whelan, who will go down as one of the best players to ever wear the Cardinal uniform, earns his second career postseason honor after making the All-GLVC second team and All-Defensive team last season. In his final go around he averaged 18.2 points per game, which was fourth in the GLVC, to go along with 5.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. He leads the league with 2.9 three point field goals per game and was seventh with a 38.5 percent clip from behind the arc. The senior will also graduate ranked in the top 25 in career scoring average (12th), three point field goals made (fourth), three point field goals attempted (fourth), three point field goal percentage (11th), free throws made (25th), free throw percentage (17th), starts (eighth), minutes played and averaged (eighth), field goals made (18th), field goals attempted (14th). 

Despite being just 6’4 and a guard, Gordon erupted into a double-double machine posting 13 on the season which is third in the GLVC and 16th nationally. In total he pulled down 296 rebounds during the regular season which is 12th in division II, including 256 on the defensive end (9.2 per game) which is second in the nation and second all-time in a single season at Jewell, trailing only Kirk Chastain’s 281 set back in the 1978-79 season. Gordon closed the regular season with a double-double in five of his final six games and pulled down 20, 13, 13, 17, and 13 rebounds during that stretch. His 20 rebound game versus Truman State was only four shy of a 62 year old record. On the season Gordon averaged 14.5 points and 10.6 rebounds, making him one of only three players to average a double-double in the GLVC, while also dishing out 2.8 assists, and leading the team with 50 steals. 

Kingsley Nwagboso (Junior) at Francis Marion University (NCAA Division 2 – PBC) record 20-10

Season stats: Played 30 games, 3 starts, 10.4 minutes per game, 2.8 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game.

Francis Marion beat North Georgia 83-54 in the Quarter-Finals of the PBC Tournament, Kingsley played 7 minutes had 2 points, 1 steal, and lost to UNC Pembroke 94-75 in the Semi-Finals, Kingsley played 6 minutes had 2 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist.

Francis Marion lost 75-72 to UNC Pembroke in the NCAA II Southeast Regional (first round) on Saturday 10th March at Harrogate, TN at 12:00noon. Kingsley played 4 minutes had 1 rebound.

Gina Brierley (Sophomore) at Saint Leo University (NCAA Division 2 – SSC) record 13-16

Season stats: Played 27 games, 26 starts, 31.3 minutes per game, 8.0 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game, 3.5 assists per game

Saint Leo lost 78-47 to Florida Southern in the SSC Tournament Quarter-Finals. Gina played 28 minutes had 9 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal.

Leah McDerment (Senior) at University of Massachusetts (NCAA Division 1 – A10) record 14-16

Season stats: Played 29 games, 19 starts, 28.8 minutes per game, 4.3 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game

UMass lost 70-64 Saint Louis in the A10 Tournament. Leah played 33 minutes had 4 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

Leah holds the record for all-time most appearances for the programme (120) and made 101 starts.

Harriet Swindells (Freshman) at Barry University (NCAA Division 2 – SSC) record 19-11

Season stats: Played 30 games, 0 starts, 18.7 minutes per game, 6.8 points per game, 1.4 rebounds per game, 0.7 assists per game.

Sunshine State Conference Tournament 

Barry U beat Tampa 71-68 in the Quarter Finals on Wednesday 28th February, Harriet played 15 minutes had 1 assist.

Barry U lost 72-57 to Fla. Southern in the Semi Finals on Saturday 3rd March, Harriet played 29 minutes had 6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block.

Jessica Eadsforth-Yates (Freshman) at Cochise College (NJCAA – ACCAC) record 29-2

Season stats: Played 27 games, 0 starts, 5.1 points per game, 1.2 rebounds per game, 1.3 assists per game.

Regional 1 Championship

Cochise College beat Central Arizona 78-63 on Thursday 9th March to be crowned District A champions.

National Championship

Wednesday 21st March Game 14 at 3:00pm (CDT) 5th seed Cochise College 54-57 Walters State, Jessica played 5 minutes, had 1 steal.

Kaiyem Cleary is at Redemption Christian Academy (Prep School – New York Section 2 Freelance)

Season Stats: 20.4 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game, 2.0 assists per game

Kaiyem ranked #58 in New England top 100 list and #19 in the Massachusetts Class of 2018 top 40 list.

(data accurate on 22/03/2018)

Manchester Magic and Mystics Respect for Referees

GMCB calling for more respect for referees

Greater Manchester Community Basketball will launch its inaugural ‘Respect Referees Fortnight’ on Monday, 12 March.

We will be urging players, coaches, parents and spectators to create a positive environment for match officials when they take charge of games – Community and National League – at the Manchester Basketball Centre.

It is the latest move in GMCB’s drive to increase the number of referees in Greater Manchester and beyond.

“We’ve chosen mid-March to launch the campaign because it’s the time of year when tensions heighten because the National League season is coming to an end,” said GMCB chief executive Phil Gordos.

“We have numerous teams battling for places in the play-offs and there is a lot at stake.

“Being a referee is a rewarding but sometimes very demanding and I think we need to be mindful of that. The last thing we want to do is add to the pressure or make it so difficult for referees that they chose to stop.”

GMCB has made it a priority to increase the number and quality of referees in Greater Manchester.

In 2017, 26 recruits, many in their teens, achieved their Level 1 qualification after attending courses put on at the ABC by GMCB referees manager Rick Dell.

GMCB has already held one Level 2 course in 2018 and plans to run a Level 1 course some time in May.

“With the support of GMCB, we have managed to drive refereeing standards up,” said Dell. “But with all young referees, it is a long-term investment and they need our support, encouragement and respect.”

GMCB’s work to recruit and train more referees has won the backing of Basketball England.

“Referees are an essential element of any competitive game,” said Simon Unsworth, who leads the national governing body’s officiating programme.

“Rick and GMCB pride themselves in following a professional approach for new recruits, making sure they are well equipped with a uniform but also nurtured so they are eased into the role comfortably.

“We can only commend them for the development work they are doing.”

During the Respect Referees Fortnight, we will also be telling you how you can get into officiating, either through one of our courses here at the ABC or at other venues across the North West.

We will also be profiling a number of referees, some of whom came through our courses here at the ABC.

Manchester Mystics

Mystics U14 end Hatters unbeaten run

A very strong Sheffield Hatters came to the ABC on Sunday with a view to going through the 2017-18 Northern Conference programme unscathed. Their proud record became ‘scathed’ following a contest which was more thrilling than any Agatha Christie novel and was a wonderful advert for junior girls basketball. Every aspect of the encounter oozed quality. (That includes the after-game refreshments!) The game was played in tremendous spirit by both sides, it was superbly officiated by referees C Hindmarch and K Johnson plus table officials C Andrew and F Vourliotis and the standard of play was of a very high standard for this age group. Even the spectators made a positive contribution. They elevated the occasion with their enthusiastic support and were on the edge of their seats or benches throughout.

Things initially looked as bleak as the beast from the east (which put me in mind of a girl I once meant in Norwich many moons ago!). Sheffield’s starters are bigger and stronger than ours with 3 players who hold their own (in the absence of servants) in the u16 Premier League and they utilised their physical superiority and experience to power into an ominous 3-11 lead 5 minutes in.

I shook things up by way of a couple of changes in personnel and we upped our game significantly enough to win the remaining 5 minutes of the opening stanza 13-10. For a change, I won’t be mentioning any names in this report. There are 2 reasons for this – I don’t wish to single any individual out because  every Mystic deserves equal praise for this heart-warming display and I don’t want to give too much away in case any future opponents are so bored that they read this drivel!

The second quarter began almost as if it was the first quarter. Instead of a 3-11 deficit, it was a 6-11 one which put us on the back foot at 22-32 mid-way through the period. Did our young team have the resolve to dig deep to do what King Canute couldn’t do and turn the tide? Oh yes! They are so adaptable and determined that they did just that. A super-human all-round team effort amazingly restricted Sheffield’s talented sharpshooters to a measly 2 baskets over the next 5 minutes and actually rendered them scoreless for the final 3 minutes of the half. This enabled us to go in at half-time on a high at 34-36.

No prizes for guessing what happened in the first part of the third quarter. Offensively, Sheffield are far from predictable. When you come to grips with one aspect of their mode of attack they switch to another. Effective use of the high post caused us sufficient problems to go 11 points down before we put theory into practice well enough to counter it. We responded yet again with a 9-4 run to give us what Salford General Hospital used to be called. We were still behind, as we had been for the whole contest, at 49-55 but had shown so much mental toughness that even William Hill wouldn’t have accepted any bets on us coming out on top.

I, for one, remained optimistic. The girls had fought so hard to stay in touch and Sheffield had had – is that a stutter? – to battle for supremacy for much of the time that something had to give. I felt that a principle reason for the repeated patterns of the first 3 quarters was down to fatigue. Our opponents had used only 7 of their 12 players; we had used as many as 11. This could well be why they ran out of steam in the latter stages each time. If so, could we make them pay?

We could. We managed to prevent them pulling away during the opening 6 minutes of the fourth quarter but were still 5 down at 57-62 with only 4 minutes to play. What a time to go on an 8-0 run! We took the lead for the very first time in the 39th minute and showed great composure, togetherness and maturity in our end game to hold on to the slender lead we had forged. To limit a team with the offensive power of Sheffield to only 10 points in the final 10 minutes when the outcome is in the balance speaks volumes for Mystics’ never-say-die attitude. This was an outstanding display from our girls of which we should all be very proud.

Many thanks to all who helped in so many ways- again no names as I’d probably miss someone out.


Mystics logo

Mystics’ Allen and Bailey make WBBL stat stars for February

Manchester Mystics’ Dominique Allen and Rheanne Bailey make the WBBL Stat Stars list for the month of February.

WBBL Stats Stars for February
Mystics’ Dominique Allen (@dom_allen12) has been crashing the glass, grabbing 14 rebounds per game (3rd) — Manchester Mystics (@Mcr_Mystics) March 1, 2018

Allen grabbed an average of 14 rebounds per game (3rd).

WBBL Stats Stars for February
Mystics’ Rheanne Bailey (@rheannebailey) has been picking pockets, averaging 3 steals per game (2nd) — Manchester Mystics (@Mcr_Mystics) March 1, 2018

Bailey picked an average of 3 pockets (steals) per game (2nd).