Magic and Mystics expand NBL programme

  Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Manchester Magic and Manchester Mystics will field one of their largest ever entries in the National Basketball League for the 2020/21 season.

And in an exciting development for the club, the Mystics have also applied to enter a senior women’s team in Division 2 for the coming campaign.

The club will field a total of 18 teams in NBL leagues in 2020/21.

They are:

  • U12 Girls x2
  • U12 Boys
  • U14 Girls x2
  • U14 Boys x3
  • U16 Girls x2
  • U16 Boys x3
  • U18 Women
  • U18 Men x2
  • Senior Women
  • Senior Men

The Magic and Mystics are one of the UK’s leading junior basketball programmes, enjoying unprecedented success over the last 20 years.

Based at the 800-seater Manchester Basketball Centre in Whalley Range, they have won more than 60 national titles since 2000 and have developed a string of junior internationals.

They were well-positioned to add to their tally before the COVID-19 pandemic brought a premature end to the 2019/20 season.

“I want to pay tribute to our coaches, parents, volunteers and supporters who have helped create one of the top clubs in the UK,” said club chief executive Phil Gordos.

“It is very much a collective effort, involving successful partnerships with Manchester City Council, the Mystics WBBL team, Manchester Metropolitan University and GLL.

“It’s been a challenge dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it has been for most clubs, but we’re excited for the future.”

A growing list of the club’s ex-players play at BBL and WBBL level in the UK as well as in professional leagues across Europe.

An increasing number of juniors have also gone on to study and play in the prestigious US college system.

Among them are Michael Anumba, who was ranked Deng Camp’s number one player in 2017, and Greater Britain U20 international Kaiyem Cleary.

Michael is about to start his third year at Division 1 outfit Winthrop University, who were crowned Big South Conference champions earlier this year.

Kaiyem helped Florida Southern College become Sunshine State Conference winners in 2020.

The girls programme continues to go from strength to strength, too.

After expanding in 2019/20, the Mystics have increased entries again for 2020/21 and will field eight teams in the NBL, from U12 to Senior Women.

“We have made excellent progress in the last few years in re-vamping our Mystics programme,” said Magic and Mystics co-founder Joe Forber.

“The initial aim was to get more girls into the programme and we are now by far the largest girls programme in England with eight National League teams for next season.

“The quality is also showing through as indicated by the performance of our U14 girls in becoming national champions in 2019.

“I believe we are now in a position to attain greater success at National League level in the older age groups.”

The Magic and Mystics will be announcing some key appointments and trial dates in the coming days as they prepare for the new season.

Stay tuned to the club website and social media channels for updates.


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