CBL: Champs Shenley Brook End back to defend title as 2023/24 season starts

The College Basketball League’s 2023/24 season starts on Wednesday. 

Twenty-two tier-two teams – including reigning champs MK5D Shenley Brook End – will feature in three groups to fight it out for a place in the finals in Manchester in March. 

Forty-four teams, in five groups, will also do battle in tier three action as the CBL returns for its second season in its revamped format.  

The league, formerly the ABL, caters for 16-19-year-olds, providing the second and third tiers for the age-group under the tier-one outfits of the Elite Academy Basketball League (EABL) and Women’s Elite Academy Basketball League (WEABL).  

Shenley Brook End secured the first playoff title in CBL history last season as they beat Bracknell & Wokingham College 98-91.   

The tier two #1 seeds completed a perfect campaign after an unbeaten regular season and three playoff wins, and will be among the favourites again. 

They kick things off in Group A by hosting Northampton School for Boys. 

Also in the tier-two mix will be Newcastle College, who arrive from the EABL, as teams start out on the road to the National Performance Centre. The Eagles-affiliated outfit host Nottingham Academy Wildcats in their opener. 

2021/22 champions Dagenham Park will be hoping for further success this year and begin their group B campaign with a home tie against Guildford County School, whilst 2019/20 co-champions New City College, also in group B, host Capital City Academy.

Hackney Sixth Form College won it all in 2018/19 before sharing the crown with New City a year later. They get their group C campaign up and running against St Thomas the Apostle Sixth Form College, and last year's beaten finalists Bracknell and Wokingham College are at home against St Aloysius College.

The CBL provides a competitive outlet for educational-based basketball programmes, such as sixth form and further education colleges.