Junior Final Fours 2024: U18, U16 & U14 previews, live streams, live stats

The closing event of the 2023/24 NBL season is upon us, with the Junior Final Fours set for this weekend.

With 24 teams heading to Manchester's National Basketball Performance Centre, two days of action will leave just six sides as worthy champions come Sunday night.

We've got a preview of all six age groups below, and live stats links are available HERE.

All of Sunday's finals will be live streamed on the BE YouTube channel.

To view the programme for the weekend, including player and coach quotes plus full rosters, use the button below.




Saturday 6 May 2023 

Court 1  
Court 2 
Court 3 

U16 Girls:
Milton Keynes Breakers v CoLA Southwark Pride 

U16 Girls:
Richmond Knights v Manchester Mystics  

U14 Boys:
 London Elite v London Legends


U16 Boys:
Manchester Magic v Manchester Giants

U16 Boys:
Newham Youngbloods v Sussex Storm

U14 Girls:
Manchester Mystics v Kingston Lions


U18 Women:
Manchester Mystics v Endeavour Ipswich Basketball

U18 Women:
CoLA Southwark Pride v Nottingham Wildcats

U14 Boys:
London Stars v Manchester Magic


U18 Men:
London United v Islington Panthers

U18 Men:
Manchester Magic v Canterbury Academy Crusaders

U14 Girls:
Milton Keynes Breakers v Sheffield Hatters

U18 Men

Islington Panthers will be looking to add playoff success to their Sure Shot U18 Men’s National Cup win in January as they head to Manchester this weekend. 

The Londoners will join defending champs Manchester Magic plus London United and Canterbury Academy Crusaders in what should be great mix of teams. 

Manchester were part of a competitive Northern Premier conference, with three teams all finishing on 58 points at 18-4. 

It’s Magic who have prevailed though, with Trafford Magic and Myerscough both falling at the quarter-final stage. 

Islington and Canterbury both went head-to-head in the Eastern Premier to finish with matching 16-4 records, splitting their games against each other during the regular season. 

That just leaves London United, who are another top dog after they claimed the Western Premier at 19-3. 

They get to look forward to an all-London clash with Islington Panthers on Saturday, while Manchester will match up against Canterbury in the other semi-final. 

Manchester needed to win on the road in Myerscough to make it back to the Final Fours, doing just that with a 61-57 final score. Islington did the same, beating Trafford Magic 74-51 in the North West to also advance. 

London United had a more straightforward path as they won their quarter-final 109-89 against London Westside Rangers, with Canterbury finding a way past Team Solent Kestrels 78-62. 

As the last final to tip in the main hall on Sunday, the U18 Men always has a special magic about it as the game brings down the curtain on the Jnr. NBL season.  

Which team will still be standing tall when that happens remains to be seen, but any one of this group has a chance to make it happen given the talent at their disposal. 

U18 Women

A stacked U18 Women’s competition brings together four of the top programmes in the country as Manchester Mystics, Ipswich, CoLA and Nottingham all go head-to-head. 

It’s North vs South in both semi-finals as Manchester lock horns with Ipswich and Nottingham take on CoLA, with the winners set for a Sunday showdown. 

Another clash between CoLA and Ipswich like the one a year ago would be a real treat, with the Suffolk side sealing a 75-72 victory in one of the games of the weekend. 

Manchester came third in 2022/23 and would love to a step further this year, with Nottingham looking to upset the status quo should they get a chance. 

All four of these programmes know each other well from their time in the WEABL, setting the stage for what will no doubt be a great weekend of action. 

All four teams come into this one with an air of symmetry, with Manchester going 12-0 to win the Northern Premier, inflicting the only two losses of the season for Nottingham (10-2), who came second. 

In the South, it is the same story. CoLA went a perfect 10-0 for top spot, with Ipswich falling twice at the hands of their old rivals to drop back to second spot at 8-2. 

That suggests both league winners potentially have the advantage heading into this weekend, though how the North and South stack up against each other will no doubt be the key factor. 

All four quarter-finals were one-sided affairs as these four teams showed their collective quality. Mystics beat Sussex Storm 85-34, and CoLA eased past last season’s Final Four outfit City of Birmingham Rockets 83-29. 

Nottingham had no problems sealing a 70-48 W against Solent, and Ipswich beat Charnwood College Riders 90-60. 

U16 Boys

Returning Sussex Storm, Manchester Giants and Newham Youngbloods are joined by U16 Sure Shot National Cup winners Manchester Magic to make up this year’s U16 Boys competition. 

Storm were beaten finalists a year ago as they came up short against eventual winners London Baltic Stars, while Giants were pipped to third by Newham, who were playing under the London Lions banner at the time. 

These four teams represent the top four seeds for this year’s playoffs, and each have shown their quality throughout both the regular and post-season. 

Magic went a perfect 22-0 to win the Northern Premier, tacking on an 88-70 victory over Bristol and a hard-fought 67-60 W against Richmond Knights to make it this far. 

Newham have also impressed, going 21-1 to win the East before wins against Surrey Rams (78-74) and defending champs London Stars (79-75). 

Sussex Storm make it a trio of league winners as they took the Western Premier title at 18-4, seeing off Milton Keynes 101-76 in the first round before a 78-72 win over London Elite. 

That just leaves the Giants as the only non-league-winner in the quartet, but at 18-4 they’ve got plenty of quality at their disposal, showing just that as they beat West Herts Warriors (71-41) and London Thunder (82-61) to make it to NBPC. 

Magic guard Jack Walton has continued to make a name for himself across the Jnr. NBL and will be looking for more this weekend. Expect Giants’ Blake Gordon, Newham’s Daniel Banjoko and Storm’s Raffy Connolly to have a say in that though, and that’s barely scratching the surface of the talent in this year’s group. 

The Saturday clash between Magic and Giants is sure to be an exciting one, with Newham and Sussex going head-to-head for the right to play the winner on Sunday. 

U16 Girls

Manchester Mystics, Richmond Knights and CoLA Southwark Pride all return to the North West in the U16 Girls’ competition, with U16 Sure Shot National Cup finalists Milton Keynes Breakers as the fresh faces for 2023/24. 

Mystics defended their title a year ago, beating Richmond 59-54 in the final and can aim for three in a row this time round if they can pick up two more wins. 

With MK taking on CoLA in semi-final one, that means there’s a repeat of last year’s final on Saturday as Richmond and Manchester go at it in what should be a high-quality affair. 

Despite Mystics’ recent successes, advantage lies with the Breakers and Knights heading into the weekend as league winners. MK won the Northern Premier with a spotless 16-0 record, including two single-digit victories against the Mystics, who were runners up at 14-2. 

Similarly, Richmond had no equal across the Southern Premier season, going 22-0 to finish nine points ahead of second place CoLA (18-3). 

After sharing just five losses between them this year, it’s no surprise these four teams then came through to playoffs to make it to Manchester. 

MK beat Newham Youngbloods 88-67, Richmond claimed a 65-48 win against Leicester Riders Foundation, Kingston Lions were no match for Manchester Mystics (80-38) and CoLA came through against Sheffield Hatters, winning 64-41. 

MK’s Athena Thompson is a rising talent and one to keep an eye on, with Richmond’s Neve Rugette and Precious Godwin plus Manchester’s Mojan Malek and Tiana Walker making the U14 All-Star Fives at last year’s JFFs 

U14 Boys

Three London clubs and Manchester Magic make up this year’s U14 Boys field. 

Elite, Legends and Stars will all be vying to end the run of the defending champions for the North West, but that won’t be easy against a Magic side that went 14-0 in the Northern Premier this season. 

The Southern teams are certainly no slouches, though. Elite (who are returning to Manchester after a third-place finish a year ago) went 22-0 to win the Western Premier, while London Stars (22-0) and London Legends (19-3) finished one and two in the East. 

The two East standouts will be split this weekend however, with Legends going up against Elite in the opening semi-final, before Stars take on Manchester Magic to round up Sunday’s finalists. 

All four of these teams have sailed through their respective playoff campaigns to reach this point, confirming themselves as four of the top U14 programmes in the country this season. 

Elite dispatched London Warriors 87-43 before beating Manchester Giants Blue 77-65. 

Stars were able to ease past Newcastle Eagles 82-46 before doing the same to Sussex Storm, 69-59. 

Manchester Magic made short work of Bristol Flyers 83-53 before getting the better of Milton Keynes 90-59, and London Legends won their battles against Newham Youngbloods 88-74 and Richmond Knights 60-52 to book their ticket to Manchester. 

Magic’s David Akhidime returns for the North West side as reigning MVP at this level. His play is sure to have a big say on how Manchester do this weekend, with Legends’ talented forward Elijah Imevbore, Stars’ Vincent Dabrila and Elite’s Daniel Onuoha all set to feature heavily. 

U14 Girls

In what is sure to be a highly competitive field, three of last season’s Final Four sides are back once again in the U14 Girls’ competition. 

Richmond Knights won’t be here to defend their crown as they fell in the quarter-finals to Sheffield Hatters, who head back to the NBPC along with Manchester Mystics and Milton Keynes Breakers. 

It’ll be a good chance to the Mystics to reclaim their U14 title after winning it last in 2021/22, but they’ll have to work hard to overcome Kingston Lions in the first of two intriguing semi-finals. 

That leaves the Breakers and Hatters to do battle in a repeat of last season’s third/fourth-place contest, one that Sheffield won 68-49. 

Manchester won the Northern Premier with a perfect 12-0, including a pair of wins against the Hatters, who finished second on 9-3. 

It’s a similar story in the Southern Prem, with MK running away to victory at 16-0 and Kingston closing as runners up at 13-3. 

That means if the regular season is anything to go by, a Mystics vs Breakers final could be on the cards for Sunday, but anything can happen and the Final Fours have a history of being anything but predictable. 

With only eight teams making the playoffs rather than 16, each of this weekend’s finalists have won one game to get to the NBPC. 

Manchester beat Sussex Storm 88-59, Milton Keynes defeated Mystics II 114-14, Kingston knocked off Lancashire Spinners 81-53, and Sheffield ended the run of Richmond 57-45. 

With two league winners and two runners up all making it to Manchester, there will be plenty of talent on show this weekend. Only one can end the season with a championship though, and it’ll be great viewing as we find out who it’s going to be,