CANDI is an abbreviation of City & Islington College.  C (City) AND I (Islington).

No.  The LSB (London School of Basketball) are an independent basketball development organisation who focus on teaching and developing the game from the grassroots up.  CANDI are an independent college who provide academic and vocational programs of study for 16-19 year olds, across their Islington college sites (Angel & Holloway). 

The LSB are working in partnership with CANDI in providing the basketball academy hosted at the college.

The LSB are responsible for recruiting and selecting players for the academy, providing the basketball coaching and overall technical management of the basketball academy at the college.  All basketball player development planning and delivery, basketball career progression and competitions management sit with the LSB.

CANDI are responsible for managing and delivering all areas of the students academic study program and hollistic student well-being while supporting the basketball academy with facilities and working with the LSB in improving student-athlete cross-program cohesion so the experience of each student-athlete is balanced and seamless between both basketball and academics.

City & Islington Academy students can choose from a large variety of courses taught by industry experts – including Access to Higher Education diplomas, practical work-based vocational courses (including BTEC, UAL and City & Guilds, from Entry Level through to Level 3) and more.

If you’re looking for somewhere to study A Levels, City and Islington College can help. Our specialist Sixth Form College in Angel has over 25 years of outstanding success, and offers over 35 different A Levels to help ensure you get a place at your first-choice university. 

Studying A Levels with us gives you the perfect hybrid of support and freedom – you are treated as an adult, so you’re ready for university, but given the support you need to succeed in your A Levels. Many of our students go on to study at renowned universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, UCL and King’s.

We have designed specific Career Pathways to help you choose a programme of A Levels that will help your future progression to university and employment.  In addition to your chosen subjects, you will also benefit from our outstanding enrichment opportunities and work experience, helping to broaden your knowledge, understanding and skills within your field of interest.

At CANDI, you won’t have assemblies or have to wear uniform, and you’ll be studying in a diverse community, with people from across London and the South East. Our teachers are A Level specialists, many of them are examiners and some have PhDs.

Our bespoke Sixth Form College in Angel has specially designed classrooms and workshops with industry-recommended equipment, as well as a well-stocked library, social spaces and cafe, creating a vibrant, sociable place to study.

Academy games are recorded in full and made availalbe to all players for the purpose of performance analysis.  These games are then used as a tool to market players to coaches who may be interested in you at the next level.  For the standout players, through our media partnerships, we will also help in the production of player mixtapes and work with skilled editors to manage production.  Please note, these edits are only applied to the top players within the academy who have demonstrated the ability to progress their basketball careers beyond the academy.  

We work with each player on helping identify and match the right level he/she should focus in on  post-academy and then put a player development plan in place that gives each player the best possible chance of securing a place on the right team after you graduate from the academy.

Our coaches and staff have extensive links with coaches across the US, UK and Europe to help place players at the level your ability allows.

In addition, top players from City & Islington Academy, who meet the playing standard criteria, will feature in talent showcase events and player ranking lists to further profile you to coaches at the next level.  Our aim is to help players get the attention and profile their skills deserve so you can find the right college or post-Academy opportunity that matches your ability.

City & Islington Academy currently compete domestically in Basketball England's College Basketball LeagueAoC and CBL leagues. In addition, LSB Academy players will also have the opportunity to play in the new and exclusive Next Level Basketball League a newly-formed competitive basketball league for 16-20 year olds who aspire to play at the next level, whether that may be America, Canada, Europe or at the many University options across the UK.

No coach or academy should ever 'promise' any player a guaranteed scholarship to America in return for attending their school or playing on their team.  Ultimately, scholarships are granted to student-athletes who best fit the criteria a US college coach is looking for.  This is never just about talent alone, but usually a mixed balance of suitable athletic and technical skills, understanding (basketball IQ), academic ability and positive personality characteristics that fit what coaches are looking for.  

Many players think that scholarships are won on just basketball talent alone, but this is never the case.  All players who aspire to play in the US college system must be academically eligible for the level they are applying to, so committing to your studies is a 'must' if you want to pursue a US College Scholarship - even if the actual scholarship is an athletic grant.  

Before coaches really get to assess your basketball talent, they will first ask about and do their homework on your character.  Coaches want players who add value to their team, high character players who can be relied upon to be where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there and are 'coachable' (that means, being able to follow instructions with a positive attitude and excellent effort).  

Ultimately coaches are professionals who are in position to help you continue to develop and be the best you can be, however in order for them to be able to do that (which will directly benefit their teams) you have to be someone who is ready, willing and able to work hard, follow instructions and be a positive person both on and off the court.  

With so many hundreds of thousands of players worldwide, now in pursuit of college scholarships, coaches do not have to accept players who do not fit their criteria, as there will always be others who do.  Your job is to make sure you put as much work into the development of your character, focused work ethic and positive personality as you do your basketball skills and academics, to put yourself in the best position for our coaches to help you reach your goals of a US Scholarship.

For those who understand the requirements and are able to meet the criteria, we are well-positioned to be able to profile you and introduce you to coaches who can help facilitate scholarships to US colleges.  If you're ready to do the work, we're ready to work with you and help you achieve your goals.

Many players dream of one day playing professional basketball in the NBA or WNBA but very, very few will ever realise that dream.  It's not impossible, as a small handful of British players have proven in the modern era (Luol Deng, Joel Freeland, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Temi Fagbenle).  However, statistics show that the chance of a player from the UK making it all the way through to the NBA or WNBA are very, very slim.  

However, professional basketball does not begin and end in just the NBA/WNBA.  There are many hundreds of professional teams worldwide who offer qualified players professional playing contracts. While the salaries are not as high as the NBA (side note: WNBA do not pay the highest womens salaries), leagues such as the Euroleague, Liga ACB (Spain), CBA (China), Turkish Premier League, HEBA A1 (Greece), Israeli Super League (and others) all offer lucrative financial contracts for qualified players.  

There are also a wide number of leagues across Europe and South America, outside of the aforementioned leagues,  where professional players can earn signficantly more than the UK 'average' salary. 

That being said, the competition for jobs, at every level, is very competitive.  So, just like any competitive industry, your chances of going pro will be directly related to your qualification and ability to positively impact the organisation you are trying to get into.  You will need to be amongst the best as a player and have proven that, or be able to prove that, to your 'prospective employer'.  Proving you are amongst the best is achieved by developing your 'body of work', your basketball CV.  Where have you played? What did you achieve?  What are you capable of doing?  Have you proven it already?  If so, where?  Do you have references?  Do you have quality game footage (evidence)?  What level have you been successful at so far?  All of these questions, and more, will be asked of you by your prospective employer (pro team).

In order to best prepare yourself for the intense scrutiny, your goal should be to learn, develop, refine and sharpen all of your basketball skills, physical and mental abilities towards being the very best version of yourself you can be.  Then you must play and prove yourself as you progress up the 'ladder'.  For a British player, there isn't just one route to the pro's anymore however the traditional ladder looks something like:

(1) Make you local team and establish yourself as a dominant player

(2) Make your national team and establish yourself as a dominant player

(3) Earn a scholarship to a US college/university and establish yourself as a dominant player

(4) Earn your first professional contract and establish yourself as a dominant player

(5) Move up the professional ranks in line with your ability and evidence of being a dominant player

These steps are not set in stone, but give you a general idea of the trajectory you need to follow in order to achieve a high-level professional contract.

The common theme throughout the steps is establishing yourself as a dominant player.  In order to do that, you need the right information, quality coaching, access to facilities to practise as much as you'll need to, in developing dominant skills and of course, competition.

LSB Academies can help develop your skills and also put you into competitions and situations that enable your game to be assessed by coaches at 'the next level', once you are ready.  

There should never be any promise of 'professional basketball contracts' from any coach, as ultimately that will come down to your work ethic, attitude, talent and ability - however, the choices you make around surrounding yourself in the right environment can dramatically help (or hinder) your chances of one day fulfilling your goals.

The point of contact at CANDI for the basketball academy is Adam Beral, who can be reached via email on: 

The point of contact at LSB for the basketball academy is AJ Roberts who can be reached on:

Your first step is to register for a trial: CANDI BASKETBALL ACADEMY TRIAL SIGN UP

Once your information has been received, a member of our team will get back to you and invite you to the next available trial date at the academy.  

After your trial, if successful and you are academically eligible after an interview with the admissions staff at City & Islington College, you will be invited to enrol at the Academy.

City & Islington Basketball Academy is free of charge for 16-19 year olds who are eligible for college in England.  

However, places at LSB Academies are selective and only secured through a trial an interview process.  To register your interest in an upcoming trial at the academy, please complete the  CANDI BASKETBALL ACADEMY TRIAL APPLICATION

City and Islington College provide more than just your selected A-Levels or chosen course. We will create you a study programme, which consists of your main qualification, employability skills and relevant work experience.

Study programmes at the college combine your course with work experience opportunities and the chance to develop skills with tutorials and extracurricular activities. The aim is to equip you with the versatility and experience needed to adapt to life after college, whether that be at university or in employment.

Each study programme is built around your career prospects to ensure you leave CANDI with a well-rounded portfolio.

Our study programmes ensure you receive:

– Your main qualification
– The opportunity to undertake work experience
– Tutorial time, study skills and enrichment activities

If you don’t already have GCSE grade 4 or above in English and Maths, you will also study these as part of your study programme.

CANDI Academy teams typically compete in a number of leagues in order to provide our players with as much game playing opportunities as possible. Academy players typically play between 35-50 games per season, depending on your ability and selection for the various teams.

The academy typically provides the following competition/game provision:

ABL: 16 games 

AoC: 12 games

CBL: 16 games

Next Level: 12 games

Varsity players at our academies receive between 10-15 hours per week training across team practise, video analysis and Strength & Conditioning sessions and individual skills development sessions.  In total, this can aggregate to more than 15 hours of basketball related coaching and practice per week.

No.  All student-athletes are required to enrol on a full-time course of academic study at CANDI.  Basketball and education go hand in hand at all of our academies.


The head coach at CANDI Academy is Jamal 'Swift' Ayende, a well-respected former professional player, who is widely regarded as one of the best skills development coaches in London.  Players who enrol at our Islington Academy will benefit from 'complete player' skills development programming overseen and delivered by Coach Swift, designed to build and strengthen all elements of your game.

Academy games are recorded in full and made availalbe to all players for the purpose of performance analysis.  These games are then used as a tool to market players to coaches who may be interested in you, at the next level.  For the standout players at our academies, we will also help in the production of player mixtapes and have skilled editors in place to manage production.  

We work with each player on helping identify and match the right level he/she should focus in on  post-academy and then put a player development plan in place that gives each player the best possible chance of securing a place on the right team after you graduate from the academy.

Our coaches and staff have extensive links with coaches across the US, UK and Europe to help place players at the level your ability allows.

In addition, top players from our Academies will feature in talent showcase events to further profile you to coaches at the next level.  Our aim is to help players get the attention and profile their skills deserve so you can find the right college or post-Academy opportunity that matches your ability.

We have traditionally provided the academy program at CANDI for boys, however the basketball academy is now starting a girls program in September 2023.  

If you are interested in a place on either the boys or girls program please fill out the CANDI BASKETBALL ACADEMY TRIAL APPLICATION

We care about your development.  Not just on the court, but also in the classroom and with the choices you make around your future.  Our goal is to help support our student-athletes towards being the best you can be.  

LSB Academies represent a door to potentially life-changing opportunity - we want to work with driven student-athletes in preparing you to walk through that door and succeed when you get to the other side, wherever that may be.

You are responsibile for your attitude and effort, in all you do, however if you are prepared to do the work and are ready to commit to continuous improvement, we will do everything we can to help you reach your goals.

The LSB is well-positioned to utilise a strong global network that has been developed over many years, in helping place qualified players in the situation that best fits your abilities, both athletically, academically and socially.  

In addition, our Academies are not just about the 'elite'.  We are deeply committed to developing a stronger and better skilled basketball workforce to help in the ongoing growth and development of our game.  In line with this commitment, we welcome young people who are passionate about the game and perhaps want to channel that passion into careers within basketball that go beyond just playing.  We help develop coaches, officials, physio's, media professionals, administrators, marketeers, business and event managers all with a view to staying within the sport as you develop your career opportunities. 

No, we do not provide boarding facilities for our academies at this time.  



Islington Basketball Academy is managed and delivered by the London School of Basketball in partnership with City & Islington College. The academy has been developed to provide an elite basketball training, competitions and player support program, alongside top-quality academic courses for aspiring 16-19 year olds in and around Central London. City and Islington College  is one of the largest colleges in London, with a diverse student body of approximately 14,000 students.  The college provides a first class learning environment where students can study A-Levels, BTEC's, HND's in addition  to a wide array of vocational  courses.  With 5 specialist centres across Central and North London, CANDI is well positioned to provide students with the facilities and support they need to achieve outstanding results and prepare you for maximum success at University or employment in an expanding global economy. 

The London School of Basketball (LSB) is London's biggest and most exciting basketball development organisation, who focus on teaching the game from the grassroots up. The LSB specialise in basketball coaching for players of all abilities through a quality-assured, expansive network of qualified coaches and clubs throughout the capital. We also facilitate educational programs and competitions to develop new and improved coaches, stronger clubs and remain committed to creating more opportunities for young Londoners to LEARN, PLAY, DEVELOP & PROGRESS within the game, all across the city.

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