Ipswich Basketball Club is delighted to announce their roster ahead of their much anticipated return to the Senior Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL).
Historically, in the 80’s and 90’s, Ipswich were one of the true power-house programmes in the country, with players such as Laura Shemming, Sally Kaznica and Lilly Mallet putting the club on the map.
However, in the early 2000’s, the club decided to make the difficult decision to pull the plug on their senior women’s programme. Fast forward to 2011 and after re-establishing themselves as a well run junior programme, for both boys and girls – the senior teams were launched again.
While the men’s programme quickly raced through the divisions, establishing itself as one of the best-run NBL teams across all four divisions, the women’s team struggled to re-establish their dominance in the women’s game. After five different coaches in five seasons, in 2016 the club again made the decision to pull the plug and focus on junior development and the academy programme, which is based at Copleston High School, playing in the high profile u19 Women’s Elite Academy Basketball League (WEABL).
Following two outstanding seasons in the academy league, and seeing Ipswich produce some of the best young female players in the country – the decision has been made to do it again at Senior National League level – with Club and Academy Head Coach Nick Drane taking the reigns.
The team will be littered with young talent, with an average age of under twenty years old. Former WEABL All First Team member Harriet Welham returns to the club after a season in Division One with Essex Blades, while Amy Linton returns and will captain the team. Flying high after playing a key role for the Great Britain u18 women this summer, 6’2 forward Maya Price will hold down the middle while the super-talented Ashleigh Pink, who has played at international level at both u16 and u18 level, will be the teams primary point-guard. Highly touted sixteen year old Esther Little will play senior basketball as her priority, but also some u16s while other products of the junior programme and academy such as Dannielle Cazey, Jasmine Tebbit, Jessica Baker and Ines Bowman-Boyles will also play key roles.
The women open their competitive season this Sunday as they face Northamptonshire Titans in the National Cup before starting their league campaign the following week, away to Worcester Wolves.
A packed house is expected for Sunday’s game against the Titans. Entry to the game is just £2 for adults, £1 for u18’s and free for children under the age of 11.
The Roster in full
#4 Jess Baker
#5 Jasmine Tebbit
#6 Ashleigh Pink
#7 Ines Bowman-Boyles
#8 Ella Pearson
#9 Esther Little
#10 Maya Price
#11 Dannielle Cazey
#12 Emily Baker
#13 Amy Linton (C)
#14 Harriet Welham
#15 Cameron Taylor-Willis