Report: Humphrey Long Invitational

basketballscotland’s two U14 National Academy teams had a busy two days of basketball at the first Humphrey Long Invitational, which was held at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester.

The teams, made up of more than 40 players who took part in the Regional Academies throughout the last 12 months, faced two England teams, as well as an Aspire select. Both the boys and girls were split into two teams, Scotland Royal and Scotland Yellow, for the tournament.

It was a tough weekend for the teams as they played a busy schedule against the best young players in England, however basketballscotland’s Barry Lang believes it was a good learning experience for the young players:

“Working with our colleagues in England, we’ve provided U14 players with an excellent learning environment. With the support of our volunteer coaching staff I believe we’ve introduced our young players to a level of competition, intensity and accountability that they’ve not experienced before. The spirit and character displayed by our players against a talented group of English players made us very proud.

The scoreboard only tells part of the story. For those of us who were in the Performance Centre we witnessed great progress and teamwork. Our focus was on our talent behaviours and we saw that in abundance. The players and coaches are better today than they were at the start of the competition, that was our aim and we achieved that.

Overall it was a great experience and I’d like to thank our players’ parents and Basketball England for their support.”

Basketball England’s Technical and Talent Performance Manager, Steve Bucknall, spoke about how the tournament honoured Humphrey Long:

“The memory of one of our all-time great youth coaches was definitely honoured over the two days. Humph was an entertainer, and a teacher. As a coach he would have really appreciated the standard and competitive nature of the tournament’s games. Having the best young players from Scotland and England on the same court has continued to strengthen our basketball relationship and offered our players a huge opportunity to grow together as well.”

Final scores (Boys):

England Red 78-27 Scotland Yellow

Scotland Royal 28-89 England White

Aspire 81-29 Scotland Yellow

Aspire 84-35 Scotland Royal

England White 75-24 Scotland Yellow

Scotland Royal 37-58 Scotland Yellow

England Red 104-25 Scotland Royal

Final Scores (Girls)

England Red 85-23 Scotland Yellow

Scotland Royal 26-33 England White

Aspire 87-20 Scotland Yellow

Aspire 75-24 Scotland Royal

England White 69-46 Scotland Yellow

Scotland Royal 45-31 Scotland Yellow

England Red 67-27 Scotland Royal