Elite Basketball

John Madejski Academy has a special relationship with basketball thanks to our close connection with Reading Rockets.

New in 2013, our elite basketball programme allows exceptional basketball players to refine their skills, benefiting from professional level coaching, while continuing with their academic studies. It offers promising basketball students the chance to improve technically, tactically, physically and mentally.

Our elite basketball programme is designed to provide extra support and opportunities to young basketball players who show promise and commitment to their sport. We ensure the students receive the very best coaching and training for their age and stage.

Our Elite Boys compete in the prestigious EABL (Elite Academies Basketball League) where only the top 16 Academies in the country are represented. Our Elite girls play in the National Schools u19 Premier competition and we have recently sent a number of elite males and females to Universities in the UK and USA, and are incredibly proud of the academic prowess of some of our finest student-athletes.

Aimed at students from Years 7–13, the programme allows them to develop their skills and techniques during and outside school hours, while making sure they continue to progress well academically. This gives them a great start on the road to becoming a dedicated and focused athlete.

John Madejski Academy is now the only school in Berkshire with an elite basketball programme for students across all year groups.

To be considered for the programme students must already be recognised as exceptional players within their own year group, with the potential to go to a high level. If they are already studying at JMA they will be members of the Rockets programme.

As a specialist sport Academy, we have very high expectations of our elite basketball students, in the classroom as well as on the court.

We review their all-round performance every six weeks. This includes a formal review from the players’ club and school coaches as well as seeking feedback from their teachers. When we spot that a student is slipping behind in any area we do our best to provide the additional support they need.

We also expect elite basketball students to have an exceptional attendance record and to display a positive attitude around the Academy, including towards staff and other students.

These high expectations have already shown positive results, with several of our top basketball students achieving far higher GCSE grades than predicted.

To reward them for their hard work and dedication, elite basketball students have the opportunity to go on all basketball related school trips.

The students receive personal mentoring from Matt Johnson, Director of Basketball, including help with career planning and personal development. They receive an updated timetable at the beginning of each term, which includes their personal development sessions.

Spending time with players from Reading Rockets also gives them an insight into the life of a full-time professional basketball player.

To join our Elite basketball programme players must demonstrate outstanding basketball skills and commitment to their academic studies as well as their sport.

Our experienced sports teachers aim to spot promising basketball players at the school as early as possible so we can provide the support they need to excel.

We also welcome exceptional basketball players to join us from other schools from as early as Year 6. To be considered players should be at club level, National League standard or be recognised at their own school as gifted and talented. Our coaches will go out to visit promising candidates at their current school or club to assess their ability and offer advice and guidance.

Players can join the Academy up to Year 10 or in Years 12, 13 or 14. We prefer not to accept new students during Year 11 to avoid disrupting their GCSE studies.

To find out more or arrange a trial, please contact Matt Johnson:

or Specialism Administrator Sarah Feast:


Latest News Basketball News

John Madejski Academy 75-65 Copleston High School JMA capped off 2017 with a very hard fought win against Copleston as they won 75-65 behind Adrian’s 25 points. JMA Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased with his team’s win and was happy to see how his players responded in the crucial moments in what was a hard fought encounter. The JMA play- caller said, “It was nice to finish the year on a win however this game gave us an opportunity to identify key areas to work on which we will action over the Christmas period. For us, if was refreshing to see some big plays made at the end of the game which shows the progression and maturity of the players and this is something we can take forward into 2018." The game started fairly evenly with both teams trading baskets with the score at 11-10 after six minutes but the home team finished the quarter with an 11-5 run to lead 22-15 after the first ten minutes. JMA stretched their lead further right at the start of the second period with a quick 9-1 run to lead by 15 but Copleston came right back at their opponents with two 7-0 runs to finish the half with the momentum as both teams went into the locker room with the score at 40-35 to the hosts. Copleston started the second half in the same form as they tied the game at 43 midway through the third quarter but JMA managed to weather the storm closing out the period with a 52-48 advantage and all to play for in the final 10 minutes. The first four minutes remained really close with the visitors closing the deficit to just a single point before JMA took the game by the scruff of the neck with a 12-0 run. Despite a late flurry by Copleston, it was the hosts who would prevail as they came out with a valuable 75-65 victory. Asher N supported JMA with 13 points whilst David O had 11 and Inigo 10. For Copleston, Jonny H kept up his scoring record in the EABL with 19 points personal with Ben W scoring 17 and L. Barker 12. Both teams will be back in action after the Christmas break with JMA hosting City of London Academy in a re-arranged game on Wednesday 10th January whilst Copleston entertain CoLA a week later on Wednesday 17th January.


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