Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

County Upper Basketball Academy visit America

10:30 21 December 2011

County Upper Basketball Academy in America

County Upper Basketball Academy in America

Archant

THE head coach of County Upper Basketball Academy has told how he wants to help Suffolk’s best youngsters progress through the centre’s ranks and earn a shot at a college sports scholarship in the USA.

The Bury St Edmunds-based facility, led by former London Towers coach Darren Johnson, offers student-athletes the chance to follow a structured programme in both the classroom and on the court and has produced a number of players that have progressed Stateside and into the big-bucks business of the college basketball system.

The Ipswich-born coach himself started his collegiate career as a student-athlete at DMACC College in Iowa and also coached there before coaching stints at South Dakota University and the University of Texan Pan-American.

Currently, only two under-19 County Upper players – David Baulcomb (Haverhill) and Oliver Barrett (Bury St Edmunds) – are from Suffolk with students from as far afield as Hungary taking advantage of the academy’s expertise.

Meanwhile, Charlie Watts (Mount Olive College), Jamari Wright (St Thomas College) and Dan Shaw (The University of Alaska) are among several former County Upper graduates embarking on four-year long scholarship programmes playing basketball.

“If they’re good enough and they prove to me that they want it enough and are willing to put in that extra effort, then I will get them involved in the recruitment process for a scholarship in America,” said Johnson.

“Gaining the scholarship is the easy part but fighting for your place and earning you spot on the team is the tough part.

“That’s where having the right mentality and attitude comes in.

“Hopefully what we can provide here is a development programme that would then give them a fighting chance over there.

“The challenge of mine is to get kids from the area into County Upper to see if they can develop.

“There is some talent out there in years eight, nine and 10 and we have a good middle school league in the area.

“I can bring kids in from elsewhere but I want to be giving local talent a chance.”

Johnson has recently taken 
his under-19s team, who play in 
the National Academy League, 
out to America to experience the collegiate basketball system.

There, coaches are on lucrative contracts, games are televised and watched in packed arenas and the yearly budgets of the college and universities’ sports budgets often run into eight figures.

County Upper’s players were also given a taste of what could be ahead of them, losing 105-42 to NCAA Division Two team DMACC (the third best in the country at that level) and DMACC’S league rivals, Iowa Central, 92-42 before playing games against Marshalltown and South Western County College. All the players on the opposing teams were on scholarships.

“A lot of our kids read about and watch the NBA and watch the college games but they only see the end-product. They don’t know what these top athletes have to go through to get to that point,” said Johnson.

“A lot of them come back from the experience having seen a different side to things, what effort needs to be put in and the commitment needed towards their sport and their studies. It is extremely cut-throat.

“I have seen a difference in some of the kids since they have come back and in practice sessions, they are pushing each other that bit further.”

n For more information about the academy visit cu-basketball.com or call 01284 754857.

0 comments

100 year old football fan Joyce Fisher gets a visit from Ipswich Town Players Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse. Also pictured with niece and nephew Ann Snook and David Moss

A lifelong Ipswich Town fan was given the perfect 100th birthday present yesterday – two kitted-out Blues players.

IpswichTown have handed six academy players professional deals for 2016/17 - Monty Patterson, Jacon Marsden, James Blanchfield, George Fowler, Chris Smith and Shane McLoughlin. Photo: ITFC

Ipswich Town have handed six academy players professional contracts.

Råsunda Stadion, Solna, Sweden, 6th of September, 1989 - Captain Terry Butcher, heart of the defence that held
the opposition scoreless in the six qualifying matches for the 1990 World Cup finals, plays on despite a bloody
head wound in the goalless draw against Sweden,

EADT 2 09 04
EADT 20 11 04
EADT 8 09 05

Terry Butcher has torn into the England team about a lack of leadership and says the shamed players should apologise to the nation’s long-suffering football fans.

New Ipswich Town signing Adam Webster. Photo: ITFC

Ipswich Town new boy Adam Webster says he is ‘literally over the moon’ to have signed for the club.

Andre Dozzell

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes a crop of promising young players can add some much-needed ‘magic dust’ to his team this season.

Make him the coach . . . Sam Allardyce

Give ‘Big Sam’ the England job – that’s my call.

Glenn Hoddle

Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie believes Glenn Hoddle should be given another chance as England manager.

Former Ipswich Town footballer John Wark talks with Brenda Caley and Glenis Caley during the launch of Football Memories at Synergy Cafe.

With the 1978 FA Cup Final showing on a television screen in the background, three Ipswich Town legends who had helped bring the Blues victory during that game wander the room.

France's Paul Pogba (left) and Republic of Ireland's Daryl Murphy battle for the ball during the round of 16 match at the Stade de Lyon.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he will have to carefully manage Daryl Murphy’s work load this season following the striker’s recent exerts at European Championships.

Burton Albion players lift the runners up trophy after they are promoted from the Sky Bet League One.

Ipswich Town’s first ever competitive game at Burton Albion has been switched to Good Friday – April 14, 7.45pm – having originally been scheduled for the following afternoon when the Championship fixtures were announced.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24