A SUDDEN death shoot out saw these little stars miss out on basketball triumph for the third year in a row.
Young players from St Paul’s CoE School in Ryhope were fast turning their hoop dreams into a reality.
Seeing off opposition from across Wearside, they this year made their third consecutive final of a city-wide basketball tournament.
But a shoot out at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena, saw the Year Five and Six pupils’ dreams shattered at they lost 3-2 to Sunderland High School.
Now, the boys and girls have been getting some extra training from a special teacher in a bid to make their latest loss their last.
Newcastle Eagles ace Joel Madourie turned up at the school to show his support - and hand out some top tips.
Joel is an ambassador for the Hoops for Health initiative which aims to get young people from across the area playing basketball, keeping fit and eating well.
So the 6ft 6in Eagle was more than happy to swoop in for the day to offer some helpful hints
Joel, 26, said: “Basketball is a fantastic sport for all young people to get involved in and I wanted to come along and show my support for these young players.”
Eleven-year-old Mitchell Armstrong is one of those young players.
The Year Six pupil plays basketball twice a week at school and is fast gaining a passion for the game.
Mitchell was also a player in the recent sudden death shoot out.
He said: It was exciting being in the final and going to the arena to play. I’m loving playing basketball, it’s good for exercise and I’m actually quite good at it.”
St Paul’s new headteacher, Natalie Fountain said: “I didn’t have any nails left by the time it came down to the sudden death shoot out. But they were very good sports about it all.’’