SEEVIC College and Southend Swifts basketball star Brad Wood has taken his first step towards national recognition after making his England under-17 debut in an international tournament held in Manchester.

Wood gained selection after a series of outstanding performances for the Thundersley college in the newly formed Elite Academies Basketball League – the highest college league in the country – and for Swifts in the National League.

“It was obviously a fantastic honour to represent the country,” he said.

“Swifts have worked on teaching me the fundamentals of the game from an early age.

“The extra time and facilities at Seevic have enabled me to further improve my skills. “My aim is to go to University in America and I hope that gaining international recognition will help me to achieve this.”

Wood, who previously studied at St Thomas More High School in Westcliff, joined Seevic College last September and is part of the Advanced Apprentice in Sporting Excellence (AASE) scheme at the college, in Runnymede Chase.

Wood has been with Swifts since the age of 13, playing at his own age group as well as getting the opportunity to play at older levels. He has also impressed for Seevic and the college’s director for sport an public services, David Waite, was thrilled by Wood’s call up.

“The whole college is delighted with Brad’s selection for England,” said Waite.

“Our basketball programme is part of our very comprehensive competitive sports programme that we offer all of our students and we look forward to other student athletes attaining similar honours.”

England under-17 finished fifth in the Haris tournament, which was held at the Amaechi Basketball Centre in Manchester.

Seevic College is one of just 16 colleges in England that are part of the AASE basketball scheme and the only authorised basketball college in Essex.

Male and female players interested in being considered for the AASE basketball scheme at Seevic College from September 2014 can complete the online registration form at