Manchester’s John Amaechi cements Olympic basketball legacy with University of Salford collaboration

By Phil Jones

Former NBA star John Amaechi is determined for the Olympic legacy to live on in Manchester with the announcement of six new three-year basketball scholarships.

A collaboration between the Amaechi Basketball Centre, in Whalley Range, and Stockport University, the scholarships will help budding basketball players while they study.

Four awards will be for available university students representing Manchester Magic, and Amaechi hopes the money will make a difference in these tough economic times.

“With the legacy rhetoric fading fast post the Olympics, we wanted to do something tangible to recapture the spirit of the games,” said Stockport-educated Amaechi.

“We want to reignite the aspirations of young people in the North West and around the country.

“I want young people to realise their effort and commitment in education and sport will be rewarded, allowing them to continue to follow their dreams.”

One gold, two silver and one bronze scholarship will be available from September 2013, worth £5,500, £3,500 and £1,000 a year for three years.

The two remaining awards will each be worth £2,500 per year for the same duration, but will be for centre members studying away from Salford University.

Named after instrumental figures in the Amaechi Centre’s success, the John Amaechi and Joe and Maggie Forber Awards are open to both Manchester Magic and Mystics players.

The centre’s general manager, Joe Forber, said: “As retired teachers, Maggie and I appreciate the value of education and welcome the partnership with the University of Salford.

“We are also happy to have a separate scholarship in our name which values both education and sport.”

A further four scholarships will be available for University of Salford students commencing their studies in 2014, with another four in 2015.

And the university’s vice-chancellor, professor Martin Hall, said the institution is committed to developing opportunities for talented individuals.

“The discipline and commitment required to excel in sport are needed equally for success in higher education,” said Professor Hall.

“We welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with the Amaechi Basketball Centre to offer these exciting opportunities to talented basketball players.”

Image courtesy of DLHQ, via YouTube, with thanks

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