BASKETBALL: England call-up a dream come true for Bury teen Nicole Hofmann

SELECTED Nicole Hofmann (centre) with Maria Pickering, director of sport and PE at Elton High, and coach Dr Nick Ibberson

SELECTED Nicole Hofmann (centre) with Maria Pickering, director of sport and PE at Elton High, and coach Dr Nick Ibberson

First published in Sport

Bury youngster Nicole Hofmann has a dream, to play for Great Britain women’s basketball team in the 2024 Olympics and she has just taken the first steps to achieving it. The 15-year-old was selected to play for England Under-15s Girls Basketball Team in the Copenhagen Invitational Tournament last week where she played against national teams from Holland, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Nicole, a student at Elton High School in Bury, plays for the school’s u15s and u16s teams.

She plays her club basketball for Bury Blue Devils, and has already played for the senior women’s team in National League Division Two as well as her own u16s team. Nicole first started playing when she was in Year 6 while still at St Stephen’s Primary School.

Since then she has represented the North West u13s and u15s teams as well as being a member of the Regional Performance Centre and the England u15s Development Squad.

At six foot tall, Nicole has the ideal build to become a top class basketball player.

She has her own daily development programme of strength and conditioning and basketball skills. Nicole is one of only two girls to have been selected by England Basketball to go to a FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Camp in Slovenia in July.

The camp is for the best two (female) players from each country in Europe who play at u15 level only, so she will be in illustrious company.

Of course being a potential international player is an expensive pursuit, especially with the loss of lottery funding, and Nicole’s parents – Beverley Aldred and Andrew Hofmann – continue to support their daughter’s ambitions. For Nicole the next step will be to gain a place in next season’s England u16s team at the European Championships following her performance in Copenhagen and at the Regional Development Tournament in Nottingham in September. In due course she hopes to attend university in the USA to help put her in contention for a place on the GB team and a career in basketball.

Headteacher Adrian Calvert said: “This is a great honour for Nicole. We are really proud of her for reaching such a high standard of basketball.

“We look forward to seeing her continuing to progress over the coming years”.

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