Ipswich Basketball’s flagship squad heads into the 2016-17 National League Division II season high on confidence, with a well-balanced roster, an almost unchanged coaching staff, and renewed hopes of achieving that highly sought-after promotion to the top tier.
Division II sees some powerhouse teams entering from Division I and some fresh faces promoted from the third tier, but Ipswich’s staff is confident their team are ready for the new challenge – on and off the court.
“I love our roster, and I can’t wait to get started this season,” says head coach Nick Drane.
“We’ve put a lot of time into getting everything right across the board this season – from the senior roster, to re-balancing our junior coaching staff, to adding more junior teams, and everything going on at Copleston right now is positive and in the right direction. None more so than our senior team.”
The senior core remains largely unchanged, with Portuguese additions from last season Edson Ferreira and Daniel Caliuco returning alongside the club’s long-serving big men, Tom Sadler, Colin Dockrell, and a fully fit Leigh Greenan.
At the end of last season, standout guard and GB under-20 camp invitee, Sam Newman, left the club after eight years to continue his basketball journey in Canada, heading to the University of Alberta Golden Bears. The only other senior departure was versatile reserve Tyme Regent-Bascombe, who returns to Manchester to complete his studies following a successful year with Ipswich.
The club has made one major ‘new’ signing in their stead, as long-time Ipswich junior Luke Mascall-Wright returns from a season in junior college. Luke’s return ensures plenty of highlight-reel plays and even more excitement for Ipswich fans this year.
Ipswich Basketball Academy is producing an ever-stronger crop of local, elite talent for the club to take pride in, and this season fans of the senior team will have plenty of opportunity to keep track of the developments of the team’s outstanding youngsters. Rory Winter, Caleb Fuller and Joshua Apple have all been added to the prestigious Deng Camp roster for the coming season, and will be playing big roles on the Men’s team this year, as well as Academy running mates Jonny Hall, Cameron Hawes and Ben Mobee.
For the first time this season, ipswichbasketball.net is proud to bring you the senior team’s complete season fixtures, right here on the website, for your convenience. In association with Grapevine Magazine, the club’s fixtures will make it easier than ever to find out when we’re next on at Copleston.
Once you’ve checked the fixture list, there is more good news ahead of the new season as adult tickets to watch the seniors in action have been reduced by 30% for 2016-17, and there are reductions across the board.
And before the regular season even begins, there’s the small matter of this weekend’s friendly double-header. There will be friendly action on Saturday against a squad from London (tbc), followed by a rare game on British shores, for the USA Select squad, featuring a collection of graduating college standouts. Tip off on Monday night is 7pm.