STUDENTS had a ball shooting hoops with a who's who of basketball last Monday when 120 participants celebrated the end of the six-week No School No Play program.
Now in its second year, the program, which teaches basketball, refereeing and nutrition, targets students at risk of becoming disengaged from school.
Students were from Chifley College Bidwill, Mount Druitt and Shalvey campuses, and Evans, Plumpton and St Clare's Catholic high schools.
Guests at the presentation were Basketball Australia chief executive Kristina Keneally, Australian Opals coach Carries Graf, former Sydney Kings coach Bob Turner and former stars Steven Carfino and Ben Knight, who grew up in St Marys.
Plumpton High School was the only school undefeated in its three games on the day.
Organiser and federal Chifley MP Ed Husic hopes participants will carry program themes into their futures.
"Linking sport and the commitment our sporting elite have to achieve their goals has motivated young people to stay at school and work hard," he said.
The two schools with the best attendance will play in a curtain-raiser for the NBL Sydney Kings game at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in December.
Mr Knight helped Mr Husic run the program over two years.
"It's not about winning and losing, the program is about fuelling the bodies, teamwork and improving school attendance," he said.
Mr Knight hopes No School No Play will return.
"It needs to run twice a year," he said.
"We need to raise the profile of basketball. It's a worldwide game but it doesn't get as much promotion in Australia as other sports, even though we have the third best women's team in the world."