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WEABL 2020/21 structure confirmed 

The WEABL structure for the 2020/21 season has been finalised. 

The WEABL will return with its two-conference format following months of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Two new sides join the league this year after The American School in London and Birmingham Met were accepted into the competition. The London programme slots straight into the Southern Conference, which grows to seven teams for 2020/21. In the North, Birmingham Met slot into the spot vacated by Myerscough College, who have chosen not to re-enter for the new campaign. 

Here’s the full line up for 2020/21: 

All Academy finalists were named co-champions in 2019/20 after Basketball England made the decision to cancel the end of season Play-offs to ensure the safety of players, staff and supporters. 

Copleston and City of London were the two sides who made it to the WEABL finals after impressing throughout the post season. 

Nick Drane and his Copleston programme continued to impress in 2019/20, with duo Cameron Taylor-Wills (14.3ppg, 10.2rpg, 14.9eff) and Ella Pearson (19.1ppg, 9.8rpg, 20.1eff) both earning their places in the all-conference sides. Defensive Player of the Year Susannah Rafiu (10.0ppg, 9.2rpg, 12.2eff) also enjoyed a fine season despite a mid-season layoff due to a shoulder injury. 

CoLA’s Amelia Sandie (12.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 7.8eff) and the 2019/20 Most Improved Player winner Simona Henshaw (11.4ppg, 5.2rpg, 6.1eff) also stood out under Coach Gibbons in the Southern Conference. 

Coach Drane said: “It’s always exciting to start a new season, but with so much uncertainty during these unprecedented times, it’s great to have something so positive to look forward to.  

The academy leagues are so well run, with so much opportunity for the top junior players to really test themselves in an elite competition. 

“For our own programme here at Copleston, we made it all the way to the EABL semi-final and the WEABL final. It was so sad that we didn’t get the chance to play that final – since the academy leagues were launched back in 2014, I believe only Barking, CoLA, Charnwood, Myerscough and SGS have made a national final.  

We joined that elite company this year and I’m sure it would have been a fantastic final against a great CoLA team.”

John Farmer, Director of Athletics at WEABL newcomers American School in London, said: “I am legitimately thrilled that The American School in London was accepted into the WEABL, and we feel so fortunate to be a part of this organisation.   

It will be terrific for our basketball players to get a higher level of competition throughout their season, and it will be great for them to get exposure to new teams and people in the basketball world here in the UK.  Our team will play hard and with a great deal of passion for the game, and I know they’re all so excited for the season to start. 

Northern Conference
Birmingham Metropolitan College: James Watt College
Charnwood College Riders
Derby Trailblazers Academy
Manchester Mystics Academy
Nottingham Academy Wildcats
The Sheffield College

Southern Conference
Barking Abbey Academy
City of London Academy – Southwark
Copleston High School & Sixth Form
Itchen College
John Madejski Academy / Reading Rockets
Oaklands College
The American School in London