Thunder Basketball Academy
St Mary’s CE High School, in partnership with Russell Hoops Basketball, provides a unique opportunity for sixth form students to combine academic study with an elite basketball coaching programme. Students follow a personalised programme of academic study whilst receiving specialist basketball coaching. This means that Academy players can pursue basketball to the highest possible level whilst preparing for their future careers.
The programme is overseen by the Academy Director of Basketball who works with our professional basketball coach, Mr Jack Burnell.
Sixth form students are coached to develop their individual basketball skills, learn how to apply these skills to produce elite team performance, understand how to train effectively and learn about nutrition to support high level athletic performance. Sixth form Academy students are expected to coach and mentor younger students as part of their commitment to the academy.
Students can access elite level coaching and specialist expertise as well as gain playing experience in national/international standard facilities. Academy basketballers develop all aspects of their performance throughout the one or two year programme, including refinement of individual technique, strength and conditioning development as well as sports nutrition and sports psychology. Students will also explore sports related career progression if this is appropriate to their career aspirations.
Academy students need to balance their academic studies with their Academy skills training and activities and remain part of the Academy programme if they study well and uphold the high standards expected of them.
Students in Years 7 to 11 access parts of Academy programmes to support their aspirations and career pathways as well as provide challenge and extension activities.