ABL 2020/21 structure confirmed 

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

The ABL will return for its sixth edition following months of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Basketball England made the decision to cancel the 2019/20 Academy Play-off Finals, crowning finalists Haringey and New City as co-champions. 

A total of 47 teams are split into five regional conferences, one more than last season: 

 

The Eastern Conference dominated proceedings up until the culmination of last season, producing both finalists in the form of Haringey and New City. 

Coach Batimba’s side went 14-1 with Alex Distras (31.7ppg, 5.0apg, 26.7eff) and Eastern MVP Ndewedo Newbury (23.4ppg, 10.7rpg, 36.1eff) impressing, while NCC’s Lanre Ayinla (21.0ppg, 8.8rpg, 31.2eff) and Defensive Player of the Year Moses Gordon (14.5ppg, 10.5rpg, 24.5eff) also stood out. 

An extra South Eastern conference in 2020/21 sees Haringey move to the Western Conference, while NCC will compete in the South Eastern.

The Western Conference also welcomes Queen’s School and Northolt High School, with another new side in Riverside Campus joining NCC in South Eastern. 

The City of Birmingham Rockets arrive in the Northern Conference in 2020/21, joined by fellow newcomers Priestly College. 

Oasis Academy move into the Eastern Conference next season, with former EABL outfit USP College, Sigma Six and Dagenham Park forming new opposition for the Enfield side in 2020/21. 

Finally in the Southern Conference, The College of Richard Collyer, Bracknell and Wokingham College and Guildford County School all join a division headlined by HTS Storm, who went 18-0 last season, and BHASVIC, who have moved down from the EABL.

NCC coach Andre Lockhart said: “Last season our program took numerous steps in the right direction. Our team played at a high level throughout the entire season and the credit goes to our college, coaching staff and players for always being focused on achieving success.

“It was very disappointing how the season ended, but we totally understand and support the reason as this pandemic has changed numerous ways of life and basketball comes second to the health of our families, loved ones and the public.

“We at NCC Basketball are extremely excited about the new season.  We lost numerous players but one major part of our program is the development of our younger players, who will now be called upon for a bigger role. They have shown during limited minutes and practice what they can do. Now, with some exciting new players committed combined with players already in their second year, it should be a fun year.

 “The coaching staff and myself aren’t looking too far forward, we will take one practice at a time and prepare for our opponents week by week and then we will see how our cards look at the end of it all.”

Haringey coach Franck Batimba said: “Last season was a great one. We had one little glitch but that was a wake up call as it definitely made the boys turn it up a notch. The boys took their games to another level after that, not only in the ABL League but in all of our other competitions.

“The premature end to the season was hard to take as I knew it was the last season that some of my boys would ever get to play together. We won all of our matches in the EYBL competition and had qualified to the play-offs, we won the Under 18 National Cup and we made it to the ABL final for the second year running.

“But the fact that four of my starting five received scholarships, three to prep schools in America and one to an academy in Europe more than made up for it. I love winning but being able to help provide opportunities that will certainly change the lives of my players is something that I am very passionate about.

“I am really looking forward to this season. It is a new personal challenge as there are a number of new faces, but it is one that I am excited about. The culture that I have created at Haringey is very effective and I am confident that we will have a very good season. I just want all the players to give 120 percent and I am sure that we will all be happy with the outcomes.”

Northern Conference
Hartlepool Sixth Form College
City of Birmingham Rockets Basketball Academy at The 6th Form College Solihull
Carmel College
Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate
Priestley college
Archbishop Beck Catholic College
Stoke-on-Trent College
COLBA Allerton High School
Aston Manor Academy
Nottingham Academy

Eastern Conference
Oasis Academy Enfield
USP College
Moulton College
County Upper School
Leyton Sixth Form College
Long Road Sixth Form College
Sigma Six
Havering Colleges Sixth Form
Dagenham Park
mayfield school

Western Conference
Queens’ School
Uxbridge College
West Thames College
West London College
Northolt High School
St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College
Capital City Academy
Haringey Sixth Form College
Harris Academy St John’s Wood
College Of Haringey, Enfield & North East London

South East Conference
Norwood Sixth Form
St Thomas the Apostle College
The John Roan School
Harris City Academy Crystal Palace
New City College
Riverside Campus
King Henry School
Northfleet Technology College
The North School

Southern Conference
Barton Peveril Sixth Form College
HTS Storm
The College of Richard Collyer
Bracknell and Wokingham College
Three Rivers Academy
Sir Robert Woodard Academy
Guildford County School
BHASIV