Jr. NBA London Finals @ UEL - Day 1 Recap

Some of the best young basketball players in the nation’s capital in Year 7 converged on East London for the Jr. NBA finals at the University of East London SportsDock today. The top four boys’ and girls’ teams did battle with a championship on the line and the competition was intense from start to finish.

In the boys’ Eastern Final, the Indiana Pacers from St Bonaventure’s exhibited their fast-pace, up-tempo style, at times turning the game into a track meet showing off their athleticism. Meanwhile the Toronto Raptors from St Thomas Moore were up for the challenge, showing great team chemistry, sharing the ball and passing up good shots for great shots. But in the end, the Pacers speed and shooting touch was too much for the Raptors as they won 39-12.

The boys’ Western Final was a defensive battle. The Dallas Mavericks from Holy Trinity School locked-down on the defensive end holding the New Orleans Pelicans to just 8 points as they blanketed them with smothering coverage. The Mavericks also had their outside shot falling on their way to a comfortable 19-8 win and booked their spot in the Final.

On the girls’ side, the Eastern Final pitted the Detroit Pistons from Woodlands against the Chicago Bulls from Clapton Girls Academy. The Pistons moved the ball around nicely playing unselfish basketball on their way to a 19-7 victory and announced themselves as a difficult team to beat.

In the Western Final, the Sacramento Kings from Grey Court locked horns with the Golden State Warriors from Aylesbury High School. The Kings put on a tremendous display of outside shooting to push them past the Warriors 18-10 booking their spot in the final.

The day’s games were interrupted around midday for the Jr. NBA shooting competition and some impressive marksmanship was shown by London’s best and brightest. On the girls’ side, the Detroit Pistons’ Helen Duncan from Woodlands showed off some solid form to win the shooting title. On the boys’ side, the Dallas Mavericks’ Keanu McIntosh from Holy Trinity was draining everything as the net looked as big as an ocean to him as he went to claim the boys’ shooting title.

Moving into the afternoon in the battle for 3rd place amongst the boys, the Raptors from St Thomas Moore played solid team basketball once again with great communication between players. They also operated smoothly in the half-court offence and got buckets at will. Ultimately the Toronto side cruised to a 38-9 victory, earning some silverware to take home.

In the heavily anticipated Final, the Indiana Pacers from St Bon’s ran away from the competition. The offensive abilities of the Pacers were too much for the Dallas Mavericks from Holy Trinity School. The Pacers got a total team effort right through their entire squad and won convincingly 62-4 to be named London Boys Year 7 Champions. It was a well-deserved title for a squad that proved they were the cream of the crop.

In the 3rd/4th game of the girls’ competition it was a back-and-forth game between the Golden State Warriors from Aylesbury High School and the Chicago Bulls from Clapton Girls Academy. With little to separate the two teams after regulation time, the game was sent to overtime to determine a winner. The Warriors stepped up in the extra frame to squeak by the Bulls in a game that had spectators on the edge of their seats.

In the girls’ final the Detroit Pistons from Woodlands met the Sacramento Kings from Grey Court to determine who would be crowned the Jr NBA Year 7 Girls Champion. Both squads showed plenty of confidence from their earlier victories and came out firing. With the intensity ratcheting up another level it was the Pistons that would pull away from the Kings, squeaking by with a 17-15 victory that went right down to the last possession. But in the end, the Pistons were too strong and deservedly were named the champions to cap a tremendous day of youth basketball in the nation’s capital.

The day was a fitting way to end the Year 7 Jr. NBA competition, with some high quality basketball blended perfectly with fun and enjoyment from all involved. The UEL courts will be busy once again tomorrow as London’s best Year 8 teams will be battling it out for a championship of their own. That event will tip off around 9:30am and we’ll have coverage on Twitter and Instagram once more.