The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London’s Basketball Academy team have been crowned league champions for the first time.
The team, known as the Warriors, won the Association of Colleges Sport Basketball East Men’s League with a 59-55 win away to Peterborough Regional College’s side the Pumas in their final game of the season on 3 May.
The top of the table clash saw both sides go into the game level on 18 league points with CONEL coming back and holding onto their lead in the final quarter to secure victory.
Alex Malesi, 18, who was one of the top scorers for the Warriors in the match, said: “It feels incredible to be league champions.
“We put in a lot of training and effort and I felt we deserved it. We managed to shut the noise of the Peterborough crowd out of our heads, and maintain our concentration and got the win.”
Team-mate Fredrick Ode, 18, added: “We have a good team spirit. If we did not have that understanding, there’s no way we would’ve won.
“The coaching at the College has been great in helping us to get in shape and improve our game. There’s everything you need to be the best basketball player you can be.”
The result saw the Warriors end up with seven wins from their eight league fixtures against five other college teams home and away and scoring a total of 526 points.
The Basketball Academy, which is run in partnership with the London School of Basketball, was launched in 2014 and is coached by former England and GB international player and ex-London Lions’ Assistant Coach Jay Williams.
He said: “This is a massive achievement. The whole team has worked really hard all season, and we weren’t sure how good we were compared to the other teams.
“We just focused on getting better individually and then as a team and everything started to fall into place and they have done really well.
“Hopefully this is the first of many championship wins for the Academy.”
The Basketball Academy is open to all students aged 16 to 18 on 31 August of the year they enrol on a course at the Enfield Centre.
It includes professional coaching, physio support and rehabilitation, exercise and nutrition advice and technical analysis of performance.
Earlier this year the College announced it was to become the only college in London to offer a new BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Basketball course from September.