England Development Programme

The England Development Programme (EDP) sits within Basketball England's Talent Pathway and is our branding for the Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE). The programme enables 16-19-year-olds to continue playing basketball within an elite environment whilst studying in a Further Education or Sixth Form setting.

Diploma in Sporting Excellence

DiSE is a two-year, Department for Education (DfE) funded programme. It is a unique sporting qualification designed to meet the needs of student athletes who exhibit the potential to achieve excellence in their sport (basketball). The DiSE is a two-year education programme which is delivered alongside a conventional state funded study programme of education or training for students aged 16 – 18 years and those students aged 19 – 24 years who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

The main focus is to deliver a complementary performance development programme, allowing students to combine basketball and education, so that they have the skills, knowledge, and qualifications to pursue a dual career in high level sport alongside separate paid employment in the future. Furthermore, it delivers a recognised programme of education, regulated by Ofqual, and seeks to enable athletes to acquire the skills and knowledge to gain an additional qualification in sporting excellence. DiSE operates to a capped number of 1,550 (entrant) participants per academic year, 145 for basketball.

Aims of DiSE

The aim of the DiSE programme is to support youth basketball athletes as they progress through their personalised journey of development. In doing so, DiSE athletes will be better equipped to combine their sporting aspirations with their educational endeavours and acquire the skills, knowledge, and
competencies required to pursue excellence in the game and beyond their athletic career.

The DiSE programme delivers a comprehensive syllabus of learning to assist youth basketball athletes in gaining additional qualifications and achieving their full potential within the game, work, and life in general. Each DiSE athlete will study Technical & Tactical Skills; Physical Capabilities; Psychological Skills; Nutrition; Lifestyle; How to Communicate Effectively; Developing Own Career; and Health & Safety. As a result of studying on the DiSE programme, the aspiring youth basketball athlete will be exposed to elite training and competition environments where their ability to perform at the very highest level will be tested in a bid to advance their level of play.

Player Approval Process

All players on the EDP are approved directly through Basketball England

EDP player approval is based on the below eligibility criteria:

  • Aged 16/17 in their year of enrolment
  • Have been identified through Basketball England’s Talent Pathway
  • For athletes that fall outside of this additional information is required at nomination stage 

The EDP approval process:

  1. All approved EDP’s are permitted to propose up to 8 students if catering for male or female athletes exclusively, or 12 students if catering for both genders. Please note that there must be a minimum of 5 female students if proposing 12 students
  2. Basketball England will internally assess the proposed students and will provisionally approve up to 145 students who meet the eligibility criteria
  3. An online verification form will be sent to the parents of approved players
  4. Approved students/parents and programmes will be notified, and contractual/due diligence processes undertaken
  5. If additional provision allows Basketball England can offer additional funded places to students who were not initially accepted, in this instance we repeat steps 3 & 4

Basketball athletes that wish to be considered for the programme should contact their local DiSE provider and arrange a visit. All interested basketball athletes should register their interest to become a DiSE athlete through their local DiSE provider and Basketball England. All basketball athletes are encouraged to apply to the DiSE provider that is closest to them.

Elite Academy Basketball Leagues (EABL & WEABL)

The EABL/WEABL is the competition outlet for the DiSE programme and is considered the premier competition for talented 16-19-year-old boys and girls.

The EABL and WEABL (formerly the U19 Premier Schools Competition) was launched in 2012 in partnership with the AoC. The purpose of the two leagues is to provide the highest level of School/College competition in the country. The competition is divided into a North and South pool, teams compete every Wednesday afternoon in a bid to secure league, cup, and play-off success. This weekly competition supports the needs of potential elite athletes by giving them the opportunity to test their skills at the highest level possible during the academic calendar.


Contact Details for EDP Providers +

Barking Abbey School (Boys and Girls): James Vear ([email protected])

City of Birmingham/Sutton Coldfield College (Boys)

City of London Academy (Boys and Girls): Jackson Gibbons ([email protected])

Copleston High School (Boys and Girls): Nick Drane ([email protected])

Derby Trailblazers Academy (Boys): Matt Shaw ([email protected])

Itchen College (Boys and Girls): Matt Guymon ([email protected]).

John Madejski Academy (Boys and Girls): Ben Fisher ([email protected])

Leicester Riders (Boys and Girls): Russell Levenston ([email protected].)

Manchester Magic/Mystics Academy (Boys and Girls): Phil Gordos ([email protected])

Myerscough College (Boys): Neal Hopkins ([email protected])

Nottingham Wildcats (Girls): Siobhan Prior ([email protected])

Oaklands College (Boys and Girls): Michael Ball ([email protected]).

SGS College (Boys): David Rendell ([email protected])

Are AoC and EABL only for male players and not females? +

AoC run male and female competitions. EABL is for males and WEABL for females and are the elite academy basketball leagues.

Is it compulsory for the player to play for the club attached to the academy? +

For weekend activity, a player can play for anyone at club level and don’t have to play for the institution they attend. The level of competition must however be supportive of the short and longer term development needs of the player.

If my child is unable to attend our local EDP course and goes to another college, what opportunities would they have to still participate in the England and GB programmes? +

We have Regional Talent Managers who are working with us in an advisory capacity, they have a oversight of all activities within their region to help with player selections.

Does being accepted by an academy mean my child has been accepted on the EDP? +

Academies will have a wider pool of players but only a selection will be nominated and registered for the DiSE qualification. We do ask for some level of differentiation in terms of the support provided by the academies where greater numbers exist.

Does the programme have any elements of officiating? +

Officiating isn’t part of the programme. Students will however complete a Level 2 Coaching Certificate in Basketball. If officiating is something that your child is interested in please make the EDP aware and we will assess what can be done to support this.

What are the % figures for next destination for people completing the programme? +

We’ve been engaged with a research project alongside TASS to understand the motivations, perceptions of players that are either looking to go to the states, are there already or have been and are now playing professionally or in another environment. We will release the paper and education material on our website next week. A webinar will then follow on the post 18 opportunities to allow for informed choices.

The % of players going to the US is on the rise. A number of years ago it was around 15% and is now 24%, and steadily increasing.

Does each academy have the same number of EDP spaces to offer their players? +

Yes, when we go out for nominations, there are 8 or 12 places dependent on whether the cohort that the academies are nominating is all male, all female, or mixed.

What is the link between EDP and ETP/GB programmes? How do players get selected? +

Our Head of Talent and Performance oversees the EDP and ETP programmes, and sits on the GB Youth Teams Performance Group alongside Basketball Scotland and Basketball Wales.

We track players through digital capacity and human resource when it comes to selection. When it comes round to pulling together for the first camp, we have a long list of players that have been monitored through the EDP environment and other environments if players don’t attend an EDP.

Around 90% of players on the GB U18’s & U20s programme in 2019 came through the EDP.