Manchester Magic and Manchester Mystics have teamed up with The Manchester College to form a ground-breaking new basketball partnership in the city.
The initiative, which joins one of the biggest and most successful junior basketball programmes in the country with one of the biggest sixth form colleges, will benefit student-athletes looking to take their basketball to the next level.
It will also generate countless opportunities for pupils interested in coaching, refereeing, sports media, sports marketing and sports merchandise.
“We’re so excited about the potential of this partnership and what it could mean for Manchester,” said Magic and Mystics chief executive Phil Gordos.
“This is not just about unearthing the next generation of basketball players, we’re also looking to build a programme that will develop coaches, referees and table officials.
“It’s a great fit. We’re both ambitious and we both want to provide opportunities for young people in the city.”
The two parties will work together to provide an education and basketball programme that will give students the chance to excel in the classroom and on the court.
The Manchester College already runs a basketball programme and is one of the largest further education colleges in the country.
“This is a great opportunity for us as a college to extend our basketball offer,” said Hayley Francis, TMC’s Head of Department Sport, Public Service and Criminology.
“The Manchester Magic and Mystics are a great organisation and a pillar within the community which not only increases our reach but gives present and future students the opportunity to study and play basketball at a level that suits, from participation to elite.
“I believe this is the start of something great, as both organisations have the same vision and drive.”
TMC is also close to completing the construction of a new state-of-the-art teaching facility in Openshaw that will include a two-court basketball hall, an S&C gym, a sports analysis suite and a sports science laboratory.
“This is a fabulous opportunity to partner with the Manchester Magic and Mystics, and the timing could not be better,” said TMC’s Head Basketball Coach and Sport Tutor Ambokile Bell.
“We have always had a basketball offer here at the college for enrichment participation.
“However, with this partnership, we can now extend it to suit the needs of our students that aspire to play at a high level during their time here at The Manchester College.
“With a range of courses from entry level to degree level, we can now officially announce a basketball programme with one of the most successful community and junior basketball programmes in the country.”
The Magic and Mystics have a proven track record of developing talent, winning more than 50 national junior titles since 2000.
They have also developed dozens of internationals and helped many players earn lucrative scholarships to play and study in the USA.
The club also runs an elite academy for boys and girls that plays in the EABL and WEABL.
“There is so much talent here in the city and across Greater Manchester that it makes perfect sense to work with The Manchester College,” added Gordos.
“With our expertise and knowledge, we believe we can enhance the great work the college already does and we can help each other to thrive.”