Girls’ basketball booming in Ipswich, after Copleston-based under-19s’ national cup success

Ipswich Basketball Academy’s under-19 girls, based at Copleston High School, lifted the National Cup

Ipswich Basketball Academys under-19 girls, based at Copleston High School, lifted the National Cup with a victory against Charnwood College. - Credit: Archant

Girls’ basketball in Ipswich is on the crest of a wave.

Last week, the Ipswich Basketball Academy’s under-19 girls, based at Copleston High School, lifted the National Cup with a victory against Charnwood College.

In a further boost, two of that squad, Freya Cooney and Grace Sinnott have verbally committed to college places in the USA.

Cooney will be joining a sports scholarship at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, while Sinnott will be jetting out to Colorado Christian University to continue her studies.

Some of the squad, meanwhile, will be staying on for a third year with the under-19 squad, which is set to be bolstered by some exciting talent from the academy’s under-16s.


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The only downside to the academy’s national cup success was the fact that victory came against a second-string Charnwood side, the first team were playing in Croatia, at the International Schools Federation (ISF) World 5v5 Championships.

“I think myself and the girls would rather played a full-strength Charnwood team and risk winning a silver, rather than winning gold against the team we did,” said Copleston Academy director and Ipswich Basketball head coach Nick Drane.

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“But that shouldn’t take away from the girls’ achievement over the course of the season and during the last couple of years.

“This represents the second year we have reached the final, and having lost to Charnwood last season. We are coming away with a set of gold medals this time round.”

The team’s success arrived hot on the heels of Ipswich Basketball Club’s under-16 girls finishing runners-up in the National play-offs recently, while Cooney and Sinnott’s achievements are a clear indication of the progress being made.

“The win against Charnwood was the icing on the cake,” added Drane.

“We have some great talent coming through from the under-16s team and we are recruiting heavily too,” explained Drane.

“The under-16s were national runners-up and the under-14s are equally as talented.”

On the two girls heading out to the US, he added: “Both are very academic as well as being great basketball players and we want to get that message across that we promote studying first – we are very strong-performing academy.”

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