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The Forber Foundation is a grant-awarding Trust, within the Manchester Magic and Mystics organisation and Basketball Centre.

It is part of the charitable status of the club.

Charity no. 1090437

Objectives of the Foundation

To support youngsters at the Club who may need extra funds to allow them to pursue their interest in basketball and to fulfil their potential in whichever area of basketball they have chosen – playing, refereeing, coaching, table officiating, link with education, etc.

Background image: Jade Mbam

Objectives of the Foundation

To support youngsters at the Club who may need extra funds to allow them to pursue their interest in basketball and to fulfil their potential in whichever area of basketball they have chosen – playing, refereeing, coaching, table officiating, link with education, etc.

Background image: Jade Mbam

History

Manchester Magic and Mystics (Greater Manchester Community Basketball) was formed in 1997. Initially the home court was Trafford Basketball Centre in Sale where the club had access to the double court at Manor Avenue.

We quickly entered National League Basketball at the U16 and U18 Boys age groups. Once the hard work in building our development programme started to pay dividends, we soon had National League Boys teams at U13, U14, U15, U16 and U18 levels. We were also able to begin a Girls programme with local school players at U16 level.

Our ambition was always to move the club into the Manchester Area and, when the chance came to build our own centre at Whalley Range, we jumped at the opportunity. The land was available on the School site and a large government grant, along with financial help from John Amaechi (one of our ex-players who rose to the level of NBA), enabled us to build our Centre. Manchester City Council have been totally supportive in all that we do and, without their help, we would not have been able to have the success which we have attained.

The Centre opened in 2002 and, since then, we have had unparalleled success in terms of National titles, England players and scholarship players in the USA.

As of season 2021/22, we have 9 Boys and 10 Girls teams playing National League Basketball from U12 to Senior Basketball. This is considerably larger than any other Club in the country.

Manchester Magic and Manchester Mystics run an academy for boys and girls aged 16 to 19 years. Generally, the squad is made up of local players from across Greater Manchester, but we have had recruits from as far afield as Aberdeen and London. The academy competes in the EABL and WEABL respectively, featuring some of the best junior talent in the UK. The academy system allows us to continue nurturing our boys and girls in readiness for their next step, either to a university here in the UK or to a college in the USA. More than 50 players have made the move across the Atlantic to play and study in the prestigious US college system.

The Centre was built for the whole of the community, not just our very successful National League programme and National Team/USA Scholarship individual successes. The Club therefore offers community sessions for beginners and all abilities, particularly focussing on the younger age groups, boys and girls.  These sessions are staffed by excellent coaches, are very well attended and the charge for participation is kept as low as possible.

For more information about the Club, see the website: 

Haris Charalambous

Club Legends

Andrew Lovedale

Andrew was born in Benin, Nigeria in 1985 and came to England as a 16 year old in 2002. He had relatives in London so had a home to go to but not much more!

Georgia Jones

Georgia first began to play at our Club as a 4 year old and her first competitive game for the Mystics was in the U14 National League as an 8 year old!

Haris Charalambous

Haris was born in 1984 in Old Trafford and attended Stretford HS. He started with our Club at the age of 12 and became an outstanding player.

Club Legends

Andrew Lovedale

Andrew was born in Benin, Nigeria in 1985 and came to England as a 16 year old in 2002. He had relatives in London so had a home to go to but not much more!

Having heard of the excellence of the Magic programme, he asked to attend our summer Camp in Manchester. The Club recognised enough potential to invite him to join our programme and continue his education at Loreto College in Manchester.  He also played for the Loreto Academy team.

We had several benefactors who were able to help Andrew financially with accommodation and playing fees. His own considerable contribution to his living costs came from work at our Centre which he performed admirably throughout his 3-year stay with us.

His remarkable improvement led to a 4-year Scholarship offer at the prestigious Davidson College in North Carolina, USA.   Playing in the same team as Steph Curry enabled Davidson to reach the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament in 2008.  Andrew played pro-ball in France and Switzerland before returning to the USA.

I am sure that he would say that his greatest achievement came after his basketball career ended, when he set up his A2S Foundation in Davidson which gives Nigerian youngsters the opportunity to develop educationally and enjoy their sporting activities.  Any further comment on his outstanding work with the A2S Foundation is best served by looking at the website. www.a2sfoundation.org

Andrew has shown that, given the opportunities to thrive, it is possible to do great work in the community in addition to having a basketball career. We are proud of his attainments.

November 2021

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Georgia Jones

Georgia first began to play at our Club as a 4 year old and her first competitive game for the Mystics was in the U14 National League as an 8 year old!

A stellar career for the Mystics included multiple England appearances at U14/16/18 levels as a player and also as a captain. She became the youngest ever player to represent GB as a 16 year old.

Georgia had many offers of Scholarships in the USA and chose Oral Roberts University, in Oklahoma, to go to the States aged 18 after her A levels. She became a 4-year starter for ORU, an excellent indication of her standard and value as a team player. Her major academic subject was Marketing.

After her College career, she had spells at Barking Abbey (London) and Romania before pursuing her education by taking a Masters Degree in Sport Management at Loughborough University, combined with playing WBBL for Leicester Riders.

Finally, she arrived ‘home’ to Manchester and has played for the Mystics WBBL team since 2016 whilst being a full time employee at Basketball England.

Georgia lists as her greatest achievements:

  • 72 caps for GB Senior Women
  • Commonwealth Games Silver Medal for England at Gold Coast, Australia, in 2018
  • 4th place for GB at Eurobasket 2019 – highest ever place for GB which earned a place in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in 2020.

We are proud of Georgia’s achievements and, as importantly, the way she has conducted herself as a role model for other young players.

November 2021

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Haris Charalambous

Haris Charalambous died during a light training session at Toledo University, USA on 9 October 2006. He was in the second year of a 4-year Scholarship at the NCAA Division 1 University.  At 6’10”, he played the Centre position and became a dominant inside player at Toledo. 

Haris was born in 1984 in Old Trafford and attended Stretford HS. He started with our Club at the age of 12 when we were based in Sale, Trafford and became an outstanding player, not only representing England at the various age levels, but also captaining his country.

Haris had the true character of a Magic player, always giving his very best and being the ultimate team player.

We have honoured Haris since 2006 by hosting the Haris International Tournament every year at our Centre on 27-29 December. It is a major event in the calendar for Basketball England and has attracted teams from the whole of the UK plus top quality teams from USA, Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Denmark, Serbia, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we have been unable to hold it for the last 2 years.

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Joe and Maggie Forber - Unsung Heroes

Joe and Maggie Forber won the Unsung Hero award at BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2013 for their work promoting basketball in Manchester.

Click on the ‘play’ button to watch the video on the BBC website.

Assessment Panel

This panel of four will assess all applications before final decisions are made.

Joe and Maggie Forber

Joe and Maggie Forber were founder members of the club, formed in 1997, and have been instrumental in its success. Before moving to Manchester Basketball Centre in 2002, they set up Trafford Basketball Centre in Sale. Both Joe and Maggie are former school teachers and their real interest is in helping youngsters develop on and off the floor. They are both Trustees of the Club and Board Members.

Ray Porter

Ray has a love for sport and, in particular, basketball since his son and foster sons played in the community leagues back in 2005. His son, Conor, then became involved in the junior and senior programmes with Manchester Magic which is where Ray became close friends with Joe and Maggie. During this time he supported the Club and Joe and Maggie in many different capacities, including being an integral part in securing scholarships and Club funding from the University of Salford in 2013.
Ray is ex-military and served in the British army. He has been involved in business for transportation of children for specialist schools and is currently the Responsible Individual and Director of an Independent Fostering Agency.

Donations to the Foundation

We will be looking for donations to the Foundation from businesses, sponsors, other grant awarding bodies and individuals. It may be that some of our parents/friends would like to make a donation which will enable us to support more of our youngsters as they pursue their interest in basketball.

Donations from individual tax-payers will also enable the Club to claim the extra 25% Gift Aid in addition to their actual donation.

Background image: Callum Jones

News

Ex-player supports our Foundation with generous donation

We would like to thank one of our ex-players for a considerable donation

First Grant Awarded!

We are pleased to say that we have been able to accept our first application for a grant...

More Cup Success for Magic

Manchester Magic have added another piece of silverware to their trophy cabinet

Forber Foundation Now Active

Joe and Maggie Forber are delighted to announce the launch of the Forber Foundation

Coaching programme gets another Kickstart

David Akinfe is the latest addition to the Manchester Magic & Manchester Mystics coaching programme

Magic and Mystics seek more silverware

Manchester Magic and Manchester Mystics can add to their tally of titles on Saturday when ...

Magnificent Ben Brown

The youngest player in our Senior Men’s Division 2 team, Ben Brown, is proving to be a hot property

Website Launch

We’d like to thank e2e Education for their generous donation of our new website. 

Our website has been donated by E2E-Education

Their Community Support Programme provides schools and organisations with the technology to work smarter and more efficiently.

For more information, please contact Paul Verinder at E2E Education. 

Charity no. 1090437

01625 527867

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