Thursday, February 22, 2024

Ormiston Park Academy’s boys’ basketball team celebrates fantastic victory

THE under 16’s boys basketball team at Ormiston Park Academy (OPA), a part of the Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), are celebrating a well-deserved win in their latest competition.

The team travelled to the impressive facility at Harris Academy South Ockendon to play in the Thurrock Schools League final against The Gateway Academy. 

OPA introduced the Basketball Excellence Programme, headed up by Coach Diana Naydenova-Goryanova, just 8 months ago. Coach Diana has established a full-time basketball programme for student athletes to reach their full potential and prepare them for the future. The players have worked extremely hard to get to this point, training for countless hours over those few short months. 

The boys were nervous as they entered the huge arena, more than twice the size of their home venue.  Excited to play in their first final, the starting five took to the court with Jay Taylor making the first basket within the first three seconds. This was the motivation they needed to settle their nerves and get their heads into the game. 

With a crowd of around 50 OPA spectators of students, friends, and families cheering on the team, the atmosphere was electric.  OPA continued to score points with Freddie Heath shooting two three pointers on the court, OPA were getting further and further ahead.   

The victory was a real team effort as all 12 of the players were switching in and out and coach Diana allocating everyone time on the court.  Each person brought something to the table with great teamwork and camaraderie on display throughout.  The players and spectators showed great respect to the referee and the opposing team, representing OPA brilliantly. 

The final whistle saw OPA easily secure the win 57 – 3, taking home their first trophy.  The academy couldn’t be prouder of the students and how they had shown such determination to succeed in such a short time.  

Mark Roessler, Principal of Ormiston Park Academy, said: 

“We are so proud of our boys’ basketball team’s performance, they showed hard work, determination, and teamwork throughout the game. It was also fantastic to see so much outpour of support for the students by their peers, friends, and families.” 

“Creating enrichment activities such as the Ormiston Park Academy Basketball Excellence Programme is an important part of providing our students with the opportunities to pursue their passions while also having fun.” 



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