Ipswich Basketball Club make Leigh Greenan their first-ever professional player

Ipswich Basketball Club head coach Nick Drane, left, and Leigh Greenan

Ipswich Basketball Club head coach Nick Drane, left, and Leigh Greenan - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Basketball Club have made history by signing their first-ever professional player.

Yesterday, giant centre Leigh Greenan put pen to paper on the Copleston-based club’s first pro deal.

The 7-footer from Ipswich, whose national league career started with the team at the age of 15 in 2006, has played for the club ever since, with a three season break in the middle of that nine year period where he played for London Leopards and professionally in France for St Dizier.

Greenan has been the anchor of the Ipswich team for the past three seasons, averaging the best part of 20 points and 13 rebounds as the Suffolk squad secured consecutive promotions up the nationalleagues to EBL Division Two.

Trailblazing Ipswich head coach Nick Drane said the move demonstrated the club’s aim to become one of the most professionally run outfits in the country.

You may also want to watch:

“We have a management team working behind the scenes that has worked tremendously hard to raise sufficient funds to take what we are doing to the next level,” he explained.

“We are incredibly proud of the fact that all of the money raised to put us in this position has been done through local sponsorship and fund raising initiatives by the club.”

Most Read

While Ipswich, pre-season favourites for promotion, have not had the season they hoped for on court - currently sitting in fourth place - Drane said the move is a boost for the whole club, and he plans more pro signings in future.

“We have not had as good a season as I had hoped on the court, but the work off it means that we are in a healthy position in terms of the resources to recruit next season, and the fact that we have raised the money ourselves means that we are not reliant on backers pulling out at the last minute and letting us down. What we are doing is sustainable.”

Greenan, 25, said: “I have Ipswich in my heart, I’ve played here for the majority of my career and it’s a very special place for me.

“Nick and I have been together for what seems like a lifetime and we have achieved a lot together. This opportunity means that I am in a position to earn a living playing the sport I love for the club I love while continuing to study at University and get a real job when I finish playing.

“It’s an amazing club to be part of, a really big family and it’s a privilege that I have been offered this opportunity. I know the coaches are also putting packages together to be able to offer other players deals – its an exciting time.”

Ipswich are losing key starters Luke Mascall-Wright and Sam Newman in the off-season as both head stateside to play college basketball.

As a result, Drane is looking to recruit top-level NBL players to replace them. Interested players should e-mail nickdrane@ipswichbasketball.net or call 07879841749.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter