This Saturday 16 June, the National Basketball Performance Centre hosted the first ever Under 14 Girls 3x3 National Celebration Event. This was a country-wide initiative developed by Basketball England and FIBA that was delivered through the Basketball England Regional Structure. For those that may be unaware, there are ten regional committees across the country; North West, North East, Yorkshire, West Midlands, East Midlands, East, South West, South, London and South East. The regions work as an arm of Basketball England delivering the same objectives and shared goals. One of these shared goals is to raise the number of females playing basketball.
Over the course of the last three months these regions, with funding and equipment from Basketball England and FIBA, delivered their own Under 14 Girls 3x3 development competitions. The focus was to bring more young females into the sport, through a fun, participation-focused tournament and to promote the 3x3 format to a new audience. The competitions enabled both new and established players to experience 3x3 basketball for possibly the first time as a competition format.
After the regional events each region had the opportunity to send two teams to the Under 14 Girls 3x3 National Celebration Event. The format of the day catered for those new to the sport who played in a development league and those who were more experienced, but new to the 3x3 format, playing in two advanced leagues, ending with play-offs and a final. The event had a great atmosphere with a DJ providing music for the day and with the participants getting the opportunity to meet with Georgia Jones, one of the players from the England Senior Women's team that won silver at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The games flowed throughout the day with fantastic matches, periods of overtime, last minute winners, and great sporting values. The players also helped to create the atmosphere of celebration. with the more advanced players helping to support the developmental players and the developmental players learning by watching the more advanced players. All 20 teams helped to make the day an amazing celebration of female basketball. Players also got the opportunity to get in front of the camera to help provide their thoughts to Basketball England on the event and the future for female basketball. This will help to shape the female game moving forwards.
Although this was a celebration event, there were still trophies to be played for! In the development league, the South West Region came out on top after some hard fought games, with the South and Yorkshire teams coming in second and third, respectively. In the advanced leagues, teams from London, North West, Yorkshire and the East Midlands made it through to the play-off semi-finals, with London coming out on top as play-off winners.
To check out a selection of photos from the event please click the link below!