U14 Boys Development Squad conquer Summer Slam
England's Under 14 Boys Development Squad remained unbeaten on their trip to Edinburgh for the International Summer Slam tournament.
They were due to face two games against Northern Ireland and two against Scotland, however the second game against the Irish was cancelled after England's 115-27 success in the first game.
All 12 players scored at least four points and coach Jesse Sazant was happy with the performance: "I was really pleased with how we started the tournament. The communication and leadership the boys showed from the start was exceptional. It was an excellent defensive display as players really committed to being accountable on defense."
The second game of the trip finished with a 76-46 success over Scotland with Tolu Babalola (25 points) and Kemar Hawes (19 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) leading the offense. Sazant noted that the players were affected by playing the second game in a day: "We were a bit less consistent, playing our second game in a short space of time. At times our defensive breakdowns allowed Scotland back in the game but we played some long stretches of excellent full court pressure defence."
England's second meeting with Scotland was in effect the final of the tournament and England outscored their hosts 47-15 in the second half on the way to a 90-44 win. Four players hit double-figures led by Luke Mitchell with 19. Mitchell would go on to be named in the All Tournament Team, alongside Babalola.
Sazant had praise his team's defensive effort: "The third quarter was some of the best basketball I have seen from such young players in England. Our commitment defensively was evident with only five breakdowns the entire second half and our ball movement and patience on offence was exceptional."
"I am really proud of the professionalism our players showed throughout the tournament. They were focused on getting better on and off the floor and really bought into playing tough defense, moving the ball on offense and communicating at all times.
"The staff were excellent in ensuring our players were ready to play throughout the tournament. The coaches, team manager and physio put in huge amounts of effort in between sessions treating and working with players to ensure they got the most out of the experience."