The Basketball Academy made huge strides this season following promotion to the ABL Northern Conference.
Despite a big learning curve in coming to terms with the speed, skill and physicality of a higher division, the team proved it deserved to be playing at this level by winning five of the last six games to finish in sixth position.
Hartlepool Sixth Form also won the AOC North East Regional Championship and were due to represent the North East at the AOC National Championships for the first time since setting up the basketball Academy in 2016 until the tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sixth Form also entered into a partnership with local junior club Durham Wildcats to play in the U18 NBL Premiership North – the only academy outside of the Newcastle Eagles to offer that level.
Each player has improved massively this season, notably Eliis Huntley, Kasparas Grinuis and Tariq Mohammed. Grinius was a key leader of the team alongside Dan Kelsey and Killian Bousfield who both gained national recognition, ranking in the top 10 for assists, efficiency, rebounds and scoring.
Mark Elderkin, Head of Basketball, said: “I am really proud of the players this year, they stepped up to each challenge and each level we competed in.
“It was great to be able to offer something no other college in the North East can and the programme will look to continue growing and build on our partnership with Durham University and Durham Wildcats.”
Education Partnership North East’s (EPNE) colleges have been ranked among the country’s best for its further education achievement rates.
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We are the College of the Year.
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