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:



@JmaRockets Retweeted Mark Bennett MBE @PDScoach, Feb 20
We thought it was about time updated his testimonial from many years ago. 7 years now mentoring him; how time flies! It's been a privilege to see Alan grow as a coach, a teacher, a person & a supporter of so many others -
@JmaRockets, Feb 20
Year 12 David Chives recent highlights from Men’s Div1 game!
@JmaRockets, Feb 18
Head of Year 11, Mr Carter still running like he’s 18 again!
@JmaRockets Retweeted JMA Performing Arts @JMARobinson1, Feb 16
We are in the finals again for Lets sing Choir of the year! Get your tickets here!
@JmaRockets Retweeted JMA Reading FC @JMAReadingFC, Feb 14
NON LEAGUE EXPERIENCE | ⚽️ We have a number of our current squad gaining valuable experience in non league football all the way up to the National League (Step 2) So of these boys willing to graft their way in the game Football owes you nothing, you have to earn it 👊🏼
@JmaRockets, Jan 28
Great to see Anabel in the mix again!!
@JmaRockets, Jan 25
There must be a new band coming soon then guys? on lead vocals?!
@JmaRockets, Jan 22
Great to see Coaches and players in time with each other!! What a great win for our girls!
@JmaRockets, Jan 20
What a great picture!
@JmaRockets, Jan 19
Here is the link to watch the u18s in action!!
@JmaRockets, Jan 17
Let’s go Saffie!!
@JmaRockets, Jan 16
Boys get a tight win against 81-84!
@JmaRockets, Jan 16
Tough loss for the girls away at Copleston. ! Now the turn of the boys!