City of Edinburgh Basketball Club’s under-18 and under-16 boys’ teams have been accepted to compete in Basketball England’s National Basketball League next season.

The Kings will play in the North-East division which will see them take on teams from Durham, Doncaster, Leeds and York.

They will also continue to field a team in the Scottish Basketball Leagues at these age levels.

The under-18 team has won the last three Scottish Basketball League championships and the club has taken the decision to pilot a season in the English leagues to provide an extra level of competition, which they believe will allow them to continue to develop their young players.

England and Scotland recently relinquished their membership of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and now compete as Great Britain (GB) in international competitions.

The club believes that this move will allow their players to play at a higher level of competition but also put them in a better position to come under the eye of GB selectors.

Both teams will be coached by Craig Nicol who was recently named an assistant coach to the Scotland national team and the Great Britain under-16 boys team. He will be assisted by long-serving club coach Jim Wright.

Portobello High School is their home venue Amy Morgan, chair of City of Edinburgh Basketball Club, said: “We have been working in recent months to develop this pilot project that will see our young players pit themselves against talented athletes from England.

“Our club still remains committed to the Scottish Basketball Championships and we will be developing an approach that will provide all players with competitive opportunities to play basketball at a variety of levels and to realise their potential.

“We hope this development will build on our high-performance programme as we seek to create the next generation of Great Britain internationalists and stars of the future.”