After a strong day of action to conclude the RDT weekend, the selectors responsible for evaluating this crop of players were given a tremendously difficult task. With the standard of play on both days being consistently high, that led to some highly competitive basketball being played. Some players will be able to continue their journey on the performance pathway after impressing over the weekend. Others will be able to use the experience the tournament presented to learn, improve and continue their development at club level before coming back stronger. Regardless of the route, the tournament clearly showed that the future of the sport has some budding stars.
“This has been a really, really strong tournament as a whole,” said East coach Billy Beddow, who’s side secured 1st place after Sunday’s Final. “I said it yesterday, but I mean it. The state of basketball for this generation looks really, really good. We should be excited about it for the next few years.”
Beddow’s East team displayed a lot of quality throughout the weekend to clinch the win, avenging yesterday’s Pool B loss to London to top the same opponent in the Final. “East played great team basketball, especially in crucial stages,” said London Coach Sterling Muschett. “They were making the extra pass, hitting the open jump shots at crucial times. If these kids on display all weekend keep going the way they are, they’ll be fine.”
With the day getting underway early, the 9am games were between sides looking to finalise their placings between 5th and 10th. Those games continued into the afternoon, punctuated by the semi-finals between the top two sides in each pool after yesterday’s play. The semis saw London beat the South East in a close 9-7 contest and the East claim a 10-6 victory over the West Midlands.
As Sunday progresses, the final standings began to take shape. The North East finished 10th after a winless weekend but their players will no doubt have learnt an enormous amount from playing at this level. South West and East Midlands followed, before Yorkshire, South and the North West. The local favourites can consider themselves unlucky not to have been in the mix for a top 4 finish after a 3-1 record yesterday. In the 3rd/4th place game, West Midlands took the honours there 10-6 to secure 3rd and leave the South East in 4th.
The final positions were as follows:
3) West Midlands
4) South East
5) North West
8) East Midlands
9) South West
10) North East
The British Shooting Test took place during early afternoon with the top scoring player from each region on Saturday taking to the court with all eyes watching. After some intense heats, North West’s Bradley May was crowned the winner, giving bragging rights to the home town fans who provided vocal support for the Manchester Magic player throughout.
Despite positions being finalised, plaques presented and winners celebrated, the most important objective of the weekend was still achieved. The players in attendance took full advantage of the opportunities presented by the tournament and put on display some fantastic basketball. Whilst identifying talent to move forward from this group will be tough due to the quantity of it, that is a good problem to have.
“Brilliant tournament, absolutely brilliant tournament,” said Muschett. “I can’t say too much more, brilliant is an understatement, it’s such an honour to be a part of it all. It’s an honour to be around the families, players, coaches, this is how basketball should be.”
For photographs and video highlights from the weekend, please check our twitter feed by clicking HERE.
For the website of Chris Midgley, the photographer used this weekend, please click HERE. Please allow some time for the photographs to be uploaded online.