NASSA runs five age-group teams in Basketball England’s National League structure. They are Under-12s, Under-14s, Under-16s, Under-18s and Men’s teams. Junior games are played on a regional basis with the national winners being decided over an annual Final Fours weekend. Senior games are played on a national basis.
NASSA’s 120 club members train twice weekly and play fixtures at weekends. Since its inception, NASSA has developed a culture of winning with 15 national titles being won since 2007.
However, in the junior age groups, we are adamant it should not be a culture of winning at all costs. We ensure that everyone has a fair chance to play and has the equal court time they deserve throughout the season.
Even in the Under-12s age group, our youngest players of eight and nine sit on the bench for fixtures and are given 2-3 minutes of court time each per match to prepare them for later years. Only when it comes to Final Fours weekends does the coach select the strongest 12 players in each age group.
The National League Programme is run by NASSA Head Coach Chris Facey, who was named UK Community Coach of the Year in the UK Coaching Awards 2014.
The programme is run on a purely voluntary basis. Coaches are not paid for their time, while many parents help out with duties such as washing kit, transporting players to away games, table officiating at home games, photographing and videoing games, as well as performing team management roles and secretarial tasks including overseeing player licences, teamsheets and referee payments.
120 players in five age group teams (U-12, U-14, U-16, U-18 and men), the majority of whom are from BME backgrounds. Each matchday squad consists of 16 players, of whom four are reserves.
The National League is a competition run by Basketball England to provide competitive basketball across all age groups.
Each team has two two-hour training sessions per week on weeknights (NASSA’s teams train between 4-10pm) with a fixture each weekend between September and April.
NASSA plays its home fixtures at the University of East London (UEL) SportsDock. Away National League fixtures take place as far afield as Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, South Wales, Bristol and Plymouth.
• Health – regular physical activity and sport
• Competition and team play – playing to win but also learning how to be a team member
• Social skills – increased confidence drawn from playing outside their normal environment, discipline, timekeeping
• Achievement – NASSA’s teams have won 15 National League titles since 2007
• Friendship – making new friends with young people outside their usual social circle.