Month: May 2019

Mystics GB

Great Britain Women to face Canada in June

Great Britain Women face Canada at Manchester’s National Basketball Performance Centre on Wednesday, June 19 in preparation for the FIBA Women’s Eurobasket Finals 2019.

And special ticket prices are available for families and groups of youngsters to attend the game. Families (2 adults, 2 children) can get in for just £24, while a group of 10 juniors will costs just £48 with an adult going free.

GB host the Canadians after surprising many people in the qualifying stages and head coach Chema Buceta will no doubt look to his CCC Polkowice duo, Temi Fagbenle and Johannah Leedham-Warner, to continue their impressive performances from the qualifying rounds.

WNBA centre Fagbenle joined the squad after being voted the Polish MVP whilst Leedham-Warner led her country in efficiency, scoring, rebounding, assists and steals during the qualifiers.

Manchester-born guard Mystics Georgia Jones, another key player, will be playing on her home court and said: “It’s our final warm-up game here before we fly out and we’d love a bumper Manchester crowd to come out and see us off.

“The fans have been brilliant at recent games and we’ve really made this court our home so it would be great to head to off with a really positive performance in front of our own supporters.”

The match-up against Canada will also be Great Britain’s only chance to play a game on home soil before the Finals, where they face co-hosts Lativa, Ukraine and defending champions Spain in a tough Group phase.

“Now we will do our best to compete at the highest level against the best teams in Europe. We know it is going to be difficult, but we will face it with ambition, courage, team attitude and self-confidence,” said coach Buceta.

The game will take place at the National Basketball Performance Centre, Belle Vue, Manchester on Wednesday, June 19 at 7:30 pm.

Tickets, including the offers above, are available here:

GB women vs Canada 2019
Haris Tournament Attendee Update

Haris Tournament Attendee Update

There are so many Haris Tournament attendees who are currently playing basketball around the world, whether that is in the professional leagues, semi-professional leagues or at University or College. There are so many active players in fact that to mention them all here would take a very long time read, so we thought we’d focus on the players who made the most impact during their time at the Tournament; the MVPs.

Niall Harris (Charnwood College Riders 2018)

Niall helped Loughborough Riders to third place in the NBL Division One Men, he played 27 games, 9 starts, averaging 23.3 minutes per game, 12.6 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game, 2.74 assists per game, 1.4 steals per game and 0.7 steals per game. Niall also helped Charnwood College Riders to the EABL title, played 12 games, averaging 19.0 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game, 4.6 assists per game, 3.2 steals per game and 0.3 blocks per game.

Sesan Russell (Charnwood College Riders 2017)

Sesan started the year at UMass Lowell but transferred to Florida Tech having not featured for UMass Lowell. Sesan helped Florida Tech to in the SSC of NCAA D2, he played 10 games, 9 starts, averaging 36.0 minutes per game, 16.7 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game and 2.0 steals.

Sean Jenkins (Ireland 2016)

Sean attended Spartanburg High School in South Carolina, USA, averaged 25 points per game, 6 rebounds per game and 5 assists per game, and helped for the varsity basketball team to a 5-10 overall record and 1-7 in the conference. Sean has signed a letter of intent to attend Presbyterian College in South Carolina of the NCAA D1 Big South.

Caleb Green (Proctor Academy 2015)

Caleb Green helped Holy Cross University to tenth place in the Patriot League of NCAA D1. He played 33 games, 33 starts, averaging 35.8 minutes per game, 10.9 points per game, 2.9 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game, 1.2 steals per game and 0.1 blocks per game.

Terance Mann (Tilton Prep School 2014)

Terance Mann helped Florida State University to fourth in the ACC of NCAA D1 and to the third round of the NCAA Tournament in his senior year. He played 37 games, 36 starts, averaging 31.7 minutes per game, 11.4 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game, 0.7 steals per game and 0.3 blocks per game.

Terance’s 2018-19 honours: Advocare Invitational Tournament Team, ACC All-Tournament Second Team and ACC All-Honorable Mention Team.

Josh Steel (England U18 2013)

Josh Steel helped Surrey Scorchers to twelfth place in the BBL, he played 13 games, 13 starts, averaging 26.0 minutes per game, 12.7 points per game, 7.0 rebounds per game, 4.0 assists per game, 1.1 steals per game and 0.4 blocks per game.

Prior to re-joining Surrey, Josh played for Actel Forca Lleida and helped them eleventh in the LEB Gold in Spain, where he played 18 games, 2 starts, averaging 11.6 minutes per game, 2.8 points per game, 1.2 rebounds per game, 0.8 assists per game, 0.2 steals per game and 0.1 blocks per game.

Phillip Daubner (Breitengüßbach 2011)

Phillip Daubner helped VfL Kirchheim Knights to a twelfth place finish in the German Pro A league, he played 29 games, 17 starts, averaging 27.4 minutes per game, 7.7 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, 0.6 assists per game, 0.5 steals per game and 0.2 blocks per game.

Josh Ward-Hibbert (England 2010 MVP)

Josh Ward-Hibbert helped Leicester Riders to a second place finish in the BBL and secured the benecos BBL Play-off title, he played 23 games, averaging 13.7 minutes per game, 6.4 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, 0.5 assists per game, 0.6 steals per game and 0.2 blocks per game.

Malik Müller (Germany 2009 MVP)

Malik Müller helped Hamburg Towers to a second place finish in the German Pro A league and crowned Play-off Champions, he played 34 games, 18 starts, averaging 19.1 minutes per game, 6.2 points per game, 1.5 rebounds per game, 1.0 assists per game and 0.4 steals per game.

MVPs who we couldn’t find information on for this season, Aureli Luquero (CB Cornella 2012), Stanley Dubois (Gran Canaria BA 2008 MVP) – previously played professionally for CSP Limoges (LNB Pro-B France 2010-11) and Rueil Athletic Club (MN1 France 2012-13), Hakeem Harris (Blair Academy 2007) – went to five USA colleges between 2010-2014 and seems to have retired, and Federico Orrego (CB Granada 2006). If you have information on these players please let us know here

Coming next week is an update on former Manchester Magic and Mystics players, we’re just waiting for all of their season’s to finish. Plus we’ll have some news about this year’s Maggie Forber Invitational Tournament which is coming on 29th-30th June.

Magic U12 Leeds Champions 2019

Magic U12s claim Leeds title

Manchester Magic have added another junior title to their trophy cabinet thanks to their U12 boys’ team.

They chalked up eight wins from eight games over two days in Leeds thanks to some great attacking and defensive play.

They also won a host of individual accolades, with Nathan Brown collecting the tournament Most Valuable Player award and Lutae Jones landing the Most Promising Player honour.

Nathan, Mikey Towey, Tyler Peoples and Dominic Goodwin were also named tournament All Stars.


Day One:

Magic 55-4 Spire Ballers

Magic 84-2 Leeds 2

Magic 74-2 Brentwood Fire

Magic 47-18 York 1

Day Two:

Magic 59-8 Teeside Lions

Magic 47-6 Leeds 1

Magic 60-4 Nottingham Hoods

Magic 55-4 York 1

Manchester Magic and Mystics News

Mystics star in WBBL Awards, Academy players selected for Hoopsfix Classic, Magic and Mystics Involved in Schools Finals

The Manchester Mystics WBBL side’s season may have ended after a disappointing Play-off Quarter Final loss against Durham Palatinates; however the players have been honoured with a plethora of awards.

Georgia Jones was named the Molten WBBL All-British Team of the Year, with Sam Roscoe coming off the bench. Rheanne Bailey and Evelyn Ovner were named in the Molten WBBL All-Defensive Team of the Year. Georgia Jones also comes off the bench in the Molten WBBL team of the Year.

In other news

Congratulations to Mystics’ Georgia Jones and Sam Roscoe and former Mystics’ Hannah Shaw, Mollie Campbell and Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee on their selections to the GB Squad.

Mystics Academy’s Jade Mbam has been selected alongside former Mystic’ Ashana Hinds for the Inaugural Hoopsfix All-Star Classic Under 19 Women’s game on Saturday 1st June at 4:00pm.

Magic Academy’s Saul May has been selected in the Hoopsfix All-Star Classic Underclassmen Game on Sunday 2nd June at 2:00pm

There were many of the Magic and Mystics family in action at the English Schools finals, with local schools: Trinity High School (U14 Girls) crowned National Champions, Reddish Vale High School (U16 girls) finishing in second place, and Sale Grammar School (U14 Co-ed) finishing in second place.

Manchester Mystics U14 Champions 2019

Mystics U14 Semi-Final Report

Going into Saturday’s semi-final (for free if you had a lanyard) against Richmond Knights (who had their breakfast together around a round table!), I felt we had a slight psychological advantage (I’m surprised I can spell that) in that we were like an egg before it’s made into an omelette – unbeaten – whereas they had lost twice to us in earlier friendlies (If there is such a thing in competitive sport).

This, however, would count for as little as what I like about the world’s most arrogant football manager (JM) i.e. nothing if our young team let their nerves get the better of them. In an attempt to settle them, I considered using a cattle prod but plumped for asking them to try to be excited rather than nervous (but not too excited). No bouncing off the ceiling as if they’d scoffed 3 packets of Haribos!

Having travelled down to play Richmond twice, I was aware of what to expect from their well-coached, hard-working group of thoroughly likeable young athletes. Defensively, they are like dry cleaners – they press! Offensively, they rely on driving to basket (rather than taking the bus or walking) and have 3 very capable left-handed guards plus a talented England off-guard. (I was hoping she would be!)

Their captain is extremely adept at stealing the ball off the dribble so my plan was to use 2 guards to pass the ball through the press to negate this. Their team lacks any genuine height so I was confident we could out-rebound them. Defensively, I believed we could match-up our best defenders with their highest scorers.

In the event, possibly more by luck than judgement – and this is where you are all supposed to interject and say ‘of course it wasn’t by luck’ – the plan worked more efficiently than Arsenal’s tactics do these days and outstanding team defence restricted our opponents to a mere 12 points in the whole of the first half. In their brief match summary, BE described our defence as ‘stingy’ which must be the only time this word has been used as a compliment (assuming we don’t mind being associated with Scrooge or my uncle Dave who is as tight as a 20 stone man in a size 8 shirt.)

The 11 Mystics responsible for being so uncharitable to our opponents were, in number order, Anna Collier, Holly Stones, Jouna Albaid, Daisy Bryan, Emily Taylor (3 of whom are eligible to play at this level next season), Olivia Forster, who sadly isn’t, Anita Oboavwodou (who also sank 3 out of 4 free throws), Saffron Murphy, Esha Nayar, Jo Vourliotis and Eleni Vourliotis.

Leading by as many as 20 at half-time at 32-12 meant that it was now a question of maintaining composure and keeping things simple to minimise mistakes. In a low key second half, the girls did just that but still managed to extend the margin to 27 before relaxing a tad too much near the end – one or two of them had actually dropped off and snoring could be heard! With every Mystic getting well into double-figure minutes on court, we ran out worthy winners. The whole team contributed positively but specific mention goes to Daisy, Emily, Olivia and Saffron for preventing any of their usually high-scoring immediate opponents from getting double figures, to Eleni, Anita and Esha for their rebounding prowess, to Olivia, Saffron and Emily for leading all scorers and to Jo, Holly, Jouna and Anna for their highly effective help defence. Keeping such a competent team as Richmond to 38 points meant that no U14 team had yet managed to score 50 or more against us all season.

It would be a big ask, given the importance of the occasion and the ability of whoever we played in Sunday’s National Final, but if we could maintain that proud record, we would have a great chance of being crowned national champions. My task now was to assess our potential opponents in their semi-final and make notes that I could read afterwards! To be continued!