The John Madejski Academy’s JMA Rockets under-18 girls’ team was crowned national cup champions after defeating previous champions, Charnwood College Riders, in a thrilling game at the Essex University arena on 18 January.
The JMA Rockets girls managed to build a 20-point lead in the first half, but Charnwood rallied hard and pushed to within three points into the final minute. JMA held their nerve and finished the game in style, creating a historic moment for the school and club.
There were many impressive performances for the girls, not least of which was the player-voted ‘most valuable player of the game,’ our very own year-12 Anabel L.
JMA Rockets boys basketball team finish as runners-up
The junior men’s team played against Haringey Hawks straight after the girls’ game, and what a thrilling finish this turned out to be. The JMA Rockets’ final shot just missed and they finished 2019 as runners-up. ‘Player of the game’ was awarded to year-12’s Sam G, with impressive performances by year-12’s Ross S and David C.
This was a fantastic day for the school and club, who are starting to become one of the best-known academy programmes in England.
“We’re really happy and we trusted ourselves to win,” said Reading Rockets head coach Blai Benlloch. “We were representing the values of the school in an excellent way, with much effort, and stayed together in the difficult moments. Sometimes, things like that are more important that any trophy.”