Northants' Amelia-May Wesley-Maryan shines at Jr. NBA Finals

Northants Basketball Club’s Amelia-May Wesley-Maryan – one of England’s brightest young basketball talents – has just won the Jr. NBA London Finals for her school, Northampton School for Girls.  

Playing as the New York Knicks, Wesley-Maryan and her classmates went all the way to the Year 8 final at UEL Sports Dock and beat Oklahoma City Thunder (Queens Park) 52-15. 

She also picked up individual honours too by winning the event's shooting competition. 

Amelia-May Wesley-Maryan won the Year 8 shooting competition at the 2024 Jr. NBA London Finals

Healthy life in basketball 

The 13-year-old says that the best part of the schools’ basketball programme is ‘getting to travel across England with her friends and classmates to play basketball’. 

Additionally, as a qualified table official and learning to be a referee, Wesley-Maryan has stepped up to officiate some of her region’s Jr. NBA games this season too. 

Hoops was introduced to Wesley-Maryan by her mum – Natasha Wesley, a former England player, who played alongside Georgia Anderson and Azania Stewart, and who currently coaches at Northants.  

Her daughter’s resume to date includes playing three years older for Northants Lightning in the U16 Jnr. NBL, representing the Central Super Region at the BE 2023 Aspire All-Star Tournament, where she recorded a double-double of 17 points, 10 rebounds against London, and this year being invited to train with the London Lions Academy U16s’ team, as well as England’s U14 selection camp.  

Wesley-Maryan also pays due to her father for instilling a ‘ball is life’ mentality in her. 

“My dad always makes it harder for me when I play against him. And I always say, ‘next time, I’m going to beat you’, but I can never seem to beat him. 

“It’s the knowledge he gives to me. In fact, he's helped loads of other kids too and they’re all living a healthy life in basketball.” 

Amelia-May is also a Basketball England qualified table official and learning to be a referee

Keep training; find a good coach 

Eventually, Wesley-Maryan would like to play in the women’s European leagues and her advice to others on how to be a great basketball player is to ‘keep training and find yourself a good coach’. 

“I was not the greatest player when I was younger,” said the point-guard.  

“Everyone was better and taller than me. I just did more training. I watched it. I learned how to do everything properly. So then when I played it became easier.  

“Now that I'm way more athletic, it's easier to get past people. I used to have to use an ‘in and out’ or crossover ‘behind the back’, but I don't need to do that. I just do a hesitation and go.” 

The Jr. NBA is the NBA's global youth basketball program for boys and girls, which teaches the fundamental skills, as well as the core values of the game – teamwork, respect, determination and community – at the grassroots level to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.  

With 23 leagues and over 10,000 players, England’s Jr. NBA league is the largest in the world outside the states.   

Amelia-May (far left) with her classmates representing the New York Knicks