Grade 8 basketballers close the season with yet another impressive win at the Dynamik England National Schools final
On Friday, 12 May, our Grade 8 basketball team attended the last game of the season at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester. We couldn’t have asked for a better result, with our Eagles taking the win 86-66. Read on to hear all about the intense game, along with some thoughts from our own players.
This huge success comes after a season filled to the brim with triumph. Following a win at a London Basketball Association (LBA) tournament in December, our Eagles won the right to represent the borough of Westminster in the London Youth Games in February—also coming out as victors in the International School of Aberdeen tournament in the same month! The Eagles didn’t stop there, and kept the winning streak going throughout the season, until they were crowned champions of the London Youth Games Final Four. This earned our Grade 8 basketballers a place in the Dynamik England National Schools semi-final on 4 May, which resulted in the team adding to our list of wins.
Friday saw the second half of the tournament come to an explosive close, with ASL competing against Sale Grammar School, from Greater Manchester. This game meant a lot to our Eagles, with player Jacoby ’27 sharing, “I feel this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—especially with this group of boys. It means a lot as some of them are moving, others are done with basketball… This game felt like our last dance!" Throughout the game, it wasn’t entirely plain sailing for our Eagles. The team worked really hard to achieve the win.
Jacoby went on to describe what it was like when ASL’s 30-12 advantage at the quarter switched to Sale creeping up to make it 42-38 at halftime: "We came into it expecting a tough game and we were playing our hearts out. Then we sort of relaxed, and once they caught up, we realized that we have to keep our foot on the gas the whole time to be able to win this game."
A dual effort from our MVP Devin ’27 and team captain Devon ’27 meant Sale’s ascension was stopped in its tracks. Their show-stopping performances and great attitudes illustrate exactly what being an Eagle is all about. Devon sums up the team’s attitude perfectly, stating, “We're all such great friends off the court, and I think that really translates on the court; we all trust each other. We feel confident in each other in everything that we do." Sportsmanship, courage and determination are just a few of the attributes that our basketball team showed in Manchester—and epitomizing the traits of our ASL Portrait of a Learner.
A word from Coach Colin Bridgewater, who led our Eagles to victory: "Winning the Dynamik England National Schools final was the perfect way to end such an amazing season. This team is a shining example of a group that is better than the sum of their parts, and it was the reason why they ended their season at 22-0 with four gold medals each. We couldn't have accomplished what we did without every single player on the roster playing their part."
We are so proud of everyone who took part in the final last Friday, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for our athletes! Check out the stat sheet from the game to see just how hard our team had worked on the court.
Photo credit to Basketball England.