FAQs.

Structure

It is made up of four sections:

  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma Achieving Excellence in Sports performance
  • Technical Certificate - A/Levels, BTEC etc.
  • Functional Skills in communication & application of numbers (you don’t need to do this bit if you achieved GCSE’s in Maths and English)
  • Basketball England Level 2 Coaching award

Eligibility

AASE is for elite athletes between 16-18 who think they want to continue their sporting career and get a qualification all at the same time! You need to have been recognised by us as an elite player, make sure your academic results are good enough to get on the programme and meet the funding criteria.

How long is the course?

The course runs for two years.

What if I find out I can’t play professionally?

That is what is so great about AASE, it is not just a qualification to play the game, it focuses on a whole load of other areas you can go into as a career if you miss out on playing at the highest level. And even if you do get to play professionally, what will you do once you retire – you can’t play professionally forever!

How do I apply?

There are a number of institutions all over the country which offer the AASE programme they are:-

Barking Abbey School -

Further details can be obtained by contacting Lloyd Gardner on 0208 7241124 or emailing mail@abbeybasketball.com.

Oaklands College -

Further details can be found by contacting Michael Ball on 01727 737000 or 07966 971845 or michael.ball@oaklands.ac.uk

Reading Rockets & John Madejski Academy

Further details can be obtained by contacting Matt Johnson on 0118 9263040 or visiting the Reading Rockets website www.reading-rockets.com.

The Canterbury High School

Further details can be found by contacting Jesse Sazant on 01227 463971 Ext: 320 or alternatively by emailing jsazant@canterbury.kent.sch.uk

Leicester Riders & Charnwood College

Further details can be obtained by calling 01162558635 or by emailing info@leicesterriders.co.uk

Derby Trailblazers & Noel Baker School/Derby College

Further details can be obtained by visiting www.derbytrailblazers.com or by contacting Matt Shaw on 07815820980

Bristol Academy Flyers & South Gloucestershire & Stroud College

Further details can be obtained by emailing Andreas Kapoulas at Andreas.Kapoulas@sgscol.ac.uk or by calling 0117 9312121

Ipswich Basketball Academy - Copleston Sixth Form (In partnership with Ipswich Basketball Club)

Further details can be found at www.basketballacademy.co.uk or contact Head Coach Nick Drane on 07879841749/1473277240 or email ndrane@copleston.suffolk.sch.uk

SEEVIC College & Southend Swifts

Further details can be obtained by contacting Craig Davidson craig.davidson@seevic-college.ac.uk

Itchen College & Solent Kestrels

Further details can be obtained by contacting Vicky Milner vmilner@itchen.ac.uk

Myerscough College

Further details can be obtained by contacting Neal Hopkins neal_hopkins@hotmail.com

Allerton High School  

Further details of the programme can be found by contacting Matt Newby at: Tel - 07825010354

Brighton Hove & Sussex 6th form college (BHASVIC)

Further details of the programme can be found by contacting Andy King: Email – a.king@bhasvic.ac.uk

Tel – 01273 552200   Web site: www.bhasvic.ac.uk

Loreto 6th form college

Further details Can be found by contacting Paul Middleton pmiddleton@loreto.ac.uk

or calling 0161 226 5156

City of London Academy

Further details can be obtained by contacting Jackson Gibbons jgibbons@cityacademy.co.uk or alternatively calling 020 7394 5100

To apply please contact the institutions directly, they will arrange a visit and discuss options.

Is it for me?

Well, only you can decide that but the Basketball England philosophy of AASE is to support elite athletes in an educational environment. If you want to focus on your education, how you can successfully have a career in sport and play at the highest level, then this might be the way for you.

  • You will be coached by top approved coaches in the country
  • You will have over ten hours on-court coaching each week including both individual and group sessions
  • You will undertake strength & conditioning sessions designed to enhance elite performance
  • The AASE programme is an integral part of the Great Britain Basketball Player Performance Pathway
  • The AASE programme can open up exit routes to universities, BBL/EBL Div 1 clubs and to European and American development programmes
  • Full support is given to complete your further educational studies

How does it fit with the talent pathway?

It can run alongside it! You can be in one of our regional or national programmes and be on the AASE programme at the same time. As long as you are within the age criteria (16-18), you could also for example be on our regional development programme or even on our national squads. Check out the talent pathway here.

Leagues

The Elite Academy Basketball League (EABL), Women’s Elite Academy Basketball League (WEABL) and Academy Basketball League (ABL) are competitions which accompany the AASE programme and other performance programmes. In short, they are competitive leagues for institutions to compete against each other to be season champion.

The EABL, WEABL & ABL have their own websites, which will give you fixtures, league positions, teams, statistics and video footage from the league.

3x3

We are currently working on a new strategy for 3x3 basketball and will be launching a new campaign shortly.

3x3 Basketball is an easy-to-run social opportunity for all which you can run within your school, college, or university.

This game is enormously popular around the globe; from kids playing in the park to fully organised FIBA competition. All you need to do is get involved! Find some players, find a hoop, find a ball, and get playing!

We encourage everyone to get involved no matter what level you play at. To help why not look at the official FIBA 3x3 guidelines to give you a more in depth overview of the official rules.

 

America

So you’re thinking of leaving us to pursue your basketball oversees. Moving anywhere can be a bit scary, so this page is aimed to give you the facts so you can decide if playing in the US is for you. We will take you through the process, requirements and cost to give you all the information you will need to make the right choice for you. 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the organisation which decides whether you are able to qualify to be considered for a US scholarship. There are some criteria which you will have to adhere to if you want to apply to play in the US under a scholarship.

If you wish to participate in NCAA basketball, you need to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Centre. You need to qualify academically and you will also need to be cleared as an amateur student-athlete. You are responsible for achieving and protecting your eligibility status, and all the information can be found on the NCAA website. You will need to register on there and have available details such as basic personal information, academic history, extracurricular programmes, and sports history. Sounds a bit legal right? Well below is a breakdown of the main things you and your parents need to know and consider when deciding if the process is for you, and if it is how to go about doing it.

All about the money

An annual US College programme will normally cost around $20,000 – $35,000 before a scholarship award.

So colleges in America are broken down into three divisions, one being the highest.

Division 1 – if you’re attending a college in division one, it’s likely the whole scholarship will be covered and you won’t need to pay any tuition fees. The NCAA also offer the total cost of attendance to some students, including books, accommodation etc.

Division 2 – These colleges are technically allowed to offer a full scholarship but most don’t because they don’t have to budget so you will be expected to pay for some of the tuition yourselves or find additional funding for this. If you are successful in obtaining a scholarship award it can reduce the cost to between $6000 – $10,000

Division 3 – These scholarships are usually academic only. They don’t have a budget to offer athletic scholarships, but are able to offer money towards academic studies.

Unfortunately, student loans are not available to UK students who decide to study abroad.

A full scholarship is a big deal, and players only get this if the colleges are confident their playing and academic ability is worth it. So moral of the story – make sure you concentrate at school...they take your grades into account as much as your playing skill!

How long is a scholarship for?

Each scholarship used to be for one year, on the condition of certain academic and playing results depending on receiving the next year of funding. More often than not now is that a scholarship can be over the whole four years, which will guarantee your education and playing opportunities, as long as you are within the agreements in your scholarship contract. This makes going to the US a lot more viable option now for players in the UK as your funding is much more secure for the whole of your education as opposed to one year at a time.

What do I need to get one?

To be able to have time to make your mark on those college coaches and gain a scholarship to the level you need, a common way to do this is to finish your studies in the UK, and go to America for one year of high school or prep school. This will give you the chance to play in tournaments where coaches are assessing players’ abilities and deciding where their scholarships should be placed. We recommend you research into high or prep schools that have high profile basketball programmes and start a rapport with their academic and coaching staff. Your parents could film a game you have played in and send it over to them to show your abilities or you can direct them to your club’s video content if they have some.

Do I qualify for one?

Normally, the rules to apply for NCAA state you must apply no later than one year after you have graduated from your studies.

 The NCAA recognises that us brits can continue studying at a British secondary school for further qualifications, which you will need if you’re intending to go to a British University. The NCAA will move the graduation date (which means they will extend the eligibility date for enrolment) for the following qualifications:

 - AS-Level (1 year) (requires two or more exams passed with grades of E or higher)
 - BTEC National Certificate (1 year)
 - A-Level (2 years) (requires two or more exams passed with grades of E or higher)
 - BTEC National Diploma (2 years)
 - NVQ level 3 (2 years)

Important: The NCAA does not recognise equivalencies to AS-levels in accordance with the UCAS system - prospective players must complete the full two-year course.

So basically – if you’re doing any of the above the NCAA will extend the amount of time you have to apply for a scholarship to one year after you finish your further studies.

There are loads of FAQ’s available on the NCAA website which help you with why you need to register and the documents you need to provide. Attached are the scenarios which mean you are eligible apply for a college basketball scholarship.

Things to be aware of

The NCAA allows you to play for a BBL or National League team before you go over to the states to play college basketball as long as you are only receiving expenses and you play for them whilst in education or in the one year after where you are still eligible.

KEEP YOUR ACADEMIC RECORDS! These might seem really unimportant at the time, but if you want to qualify for a scholarship, the NCAA takes this stuff really seriously and they’ll want to see them. If you don’t have them, it’s worth talking to your institution about getting copies as it’s likely these will have records of them.

You need five subject passes, and you have to have a social science qualification such as psychology or sociology which isn’t on the curriculum here in the UK. If you’re serious about applying to play basketball in the US, you should think about doing one of these qualifications outside of your normal studies.

Recruiting is not just based on your skill level, other factors will be looked at like:

  • Your size
  • Your position
  • Your athleticism
  • Academic Profile
  • Reputation in your own country
  • National Team Performance

Eligibility is viewed on a case by case basis as no two applications are the same. We never said the system was perfect, but hopefully there is enough guidance here and throughout the site and your club coaches to be able to have the basic pointers to help with your application.

The NCAA system can seem complicated (it is!), and if you don’t fully understand it, it may stop you from being eligible to play. Talk to your club, regional and national coaches to get additional information on how to apply if you think this route is for you. You can also contact us and we can guide you as much as possible.

More Info can be found at the NCAA.

Other options

If you have decided the US college route is for you and want to know more about the recruiting process you can download our guidance document here.

If playing in the US college system isn’t for you, there are other ways you can learn and play basketball abroad. European colleges have developed more basketball opportunities in recent years, which offer you another option as a talented player looking to progress. The best thing to do is learn as much as you can about all the options and decide the one which is for you. Check out our section on the European route here.