A TEAM of girls from Hockley’s Greensward Academy have been crowned national basketball champions.

The Essex champions, who are unbeaten this season, stormed their way to national victory beating Greig City Academy, from London, 81-54.

It is not the first time the school, in Greensward Lane, has been successful in the girls’ basketball competition. They were last national champions in 2009, but have secured the accolade more than ten times.

PE teacher Chris Butterworth believes their success is helped by thei school’s close links with the Southend Swifts team.

“We do a lot of work with our basketball team in school, but to win at national level you need club players,” he said. “A number of our girls play for Swifts and are a credit to this team. We have comfortably beaten every school we have come up against.”

The student named most valuable player was Megan Jones, with a total of 34 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Megan, who has been selected to represent England at FIBA’s European basketball camp in Slovenia, said: “I joined the Swifts when I was in Year 7 and now play for England.

“I am really proud of what we’ve achieved as a school; it’s amazing.”

Mr Butterworth added: “I am very proud of the team’s performance and their attitude. They demonstrate great team effort and support each other, showing a great level of skill. We are looking to repeat this success next year and would like to be able to take the team on a tour of America.”