Performance 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.

Led by our Head Coach Alan Keane, our Elite Boys compete in the prestigious EABL (Elite Academies Basketball League) where only the top 16 Academies in the country are represented. Our girls team plays in the WEABL Competition and is growing its reputation each year. 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:


@JmaRockets, Nov 13
Open day!! Come along and find out how we work here at JMA.
@JmaRockets, Nov 13
Great to hear our very own JMA player Arinze talking after a great performance this Sunday!
@JmaRockets, Nov 7
Unfortunately both JMA games today have been rearranged due to unforeseen circumstances.
@JmaRockets Retweeted JMA official account @JMAcademy1, Nov 6
Our Open Evening for prospective post-16 students will be taking place on Wednesday 21st November from 6-8pm. All are welcome. Please note that entry to the event is via the main school entrance on Hartland Road.
@JmaRockets Retweeted Krossover @Krossovr, Nov 6
The argument for the elimination of the zone at the youth level boils down to winning games vs. developing players for the future.
@JmaRockets, Nov 6
We are Happy to be attending Safe Drive course! We are going to TRANSFORM our Thinking today...!
@JmaRockets, Nov 4
And finally a big thank you to Luton Airport! Our journey has nearly finished for now but the impact of this trip has not even begun yet! Thank you Erasmus! Thank you JMA, thank you White Horse Federation
@JmaRockets, Nov 3
What a great end to our day!# time in Spain! Presentations by the students on their experience, followed by seeing a previous student play for the most famous club in Europe, finished by dinner at the NBA CAFE!!
@JmaRockets, Nov 3
Looking forward to catching up with this young man....Matt Marsh and seeing him play for Barcelona today.....
@JmaRockets, Nov 2
And the girls follow up with another win over Joventut Badalona 51-47! !
@JmaRockets, Nov 2
What a great end to the trip for the boys!! Beating Badalona by 5. 75-70 in a great performance.
@JmaRockets, Nov 1
Thank you sir!! You can be very proud if this group of students! !
@JmaRockets, Nov 1
Currently we are about to enter Courtside at Barcelona!! Thanks to for all your support!!