MMU is offering basketball-mad teenagers the chance of a scholarship as part of its new partnership with the Giants.

Disadvantaged youngsters, who may not have considered going on to higher education, will be selected from one of the Giants’ five Manchester-based basketball academies to see if they want to go into the scheme.

It is part of MMU’s drive to widen access to university and the club’s goal of building links with community links.

Giants player Stefan Gill said: “When we were younger basketball players, we had to look overseas for opportunities such as this – like America.

“The university is doing a great job creating opportunities for people who would not have had it before.”

The scholarship will start in 2014-2015 for Manchester-based basketball players.

Two Giants coaches will guide MMU’s basketball teams this year after the partnership was officially launched this week.

Professor Ruth Ashford, dean of the faculty of business and law, said: “The club is already doing brilliant work in the community and by teaming up we are able to help each other as organisations but, more importantly, encourage and help people into university.

“The partnership is going to help our current students as well with MMU’s basketball players now picking up tips directly from the professionals.”

George Fletcher, MMU basketball chairman and third-year accounting and finance student, added: “We’re going to get superior coaching and training will be more competitive. It will be beneficial for our teams and the university.”

Graham Herstell, director of basketball at The Giants, said: “We’re going to support the university team and help to build their game. It’s also about creating pathways for people who have not been able to access university but will now be able to through basketball.”

Story & Photo – Manchester Giants

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