Basketball star forced to retire at just 17 years

One of Suffolk's most talented young basketball players is swapping his sneakers for football boots this season and it is his hometown club - AFC Sudbury - that have benefited.

One of Suffolk's most talented young basketball players is swapping his sneakers for football boots this season and it is his hometown club - AFC Sudbury - that have benefited.

Luke Fry, 17, burst onto the basketball scene with the Ipswich Tomcats two years ago and was soon named the side's most valuable player in their under-16 season.

Last season however, while the Tomcats won through to the second round of the National League play-offs, Fry's court time became seriously limited by an ongoing back injury.

The playmaker said: “I couldn't really run without painkillers and even with them I was probably only able to perform to less than 80 per cent of my capabilities.”


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With doctors having finally diagnosed his injury as pelvic torsion, a condition which sees a misalignment of the pelvic bones impact on the back, Fry hopes that specialist treatment including acupuncture will enable him to play non-league football at a high standard.

Fry, a central midfielder or striker who played football for Colchester Athletic before his basketball career, said: “I hope football will provide less impact on the injury than basketball.

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“I've signed for AFC Sudbury and have been training with their reserves. Hopefully I can break into their first team within a couple of years.”

Speaking on Fry, who memorably sunk a winning three pointer on the buzzer against Leicester Dynamite last season, Tomcats head coach Nick Drane said: “Replacing Luke will be a tall order.

He has been one of my best players over the last two years and I have formed a close relationship with him both on and off the court.

“He will be a terrible loss both as a player and as a leader.This was a heart-wrenching decision for him to make, but as someone who has experienced the perils of injury myself I can understand his decision.

“He is only 5ft 8ins, so if he is carrying an injury it was unlikely that he was going to make it as a basketball player.

“Luke is an exceptional footballer too though and that won't be as strenuous on his injury.

He is still at an age where he can change sports and he could probably make some money playing football at a lower level.”

The ex-Sudbury Upper School pupil is currently commuting to London's Camden as a carpenters apprentice.

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