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Ipswich basketball duo hope to inspire after receiving Great Britain under-20 squad call-ups

PUBLISHED: 11:10 08 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:11 08 June 2017

Harriet Welham

Harriet Welham


Ipswich basketball duo Josh Apple and Harriet Welham hope they can inspire others, after they were called up for Great Britain’s respective under-20s squads.

Josh Apple Josh Apple

Apple (19), only started playing the sport two years ago, having switched from rugby union, while Welham (20) has never been part of the international system before.

Standing at 6ft 6ins, Islington-born Apple, who studied at Ipswich-based St Joseph’s College and latterly, Copleston Academy, is in the 21-man squad for a training camp, ahead of the Division B FIBA U20 Men’s European Championship in Romania, later this summer.

As for Bury St Edmunds-based Welham, the former County Upper School pupil will meet her international team-mates for a training camp in Manchester later this month, before head coach Chema Buceta selects a final 12 for the European Championships in Eilat, Israel from 8-16 July.

Welham, who will be part of the reformed Ipswich women’s basketball team next season, having top-scored for Essex Blades last term, said: “I was not expecting the call-up as I have never been part of the international set-up, so real credit must go to the Copleston Academy and the coaches at Ipswich.

“It was a massive surprise but I think the extra training, the fact that I top-scored for Essex last season, and having people like Nick Drane pushing me, really helped.

“I think I stand quite a good chance of making the cut and this is my chance to prove myself.

“I have never been noticed before, this shows what hard work can do, and I can go there and just play my own game.”

The selection of Apple, meanwhile, is the latest chapter in an exciting journey for the youngster – a move to play basketball in the USA on the horizon.

He explained: “I always only started playing basketball two-and-a-half years ago back in London when I watched my friends.

“My progress has been phenomenal and I’d like to say a big thank-you to all the coaches at Ipswich Basketball and Copleston Academy.

“I never expected this but I always knew that if I kept going up against the best players and try my best, it would help me improve.

“The chance to meet up with GB will be a great experience and I hope my story can inspire others.

“If I can do it, anyone can.”

The future of Mick McCarthy and the direction of Ipswich Town cast a shadow over the final weeks of the season, but there are still plenty of issues to be sorted at Portman Road. ANDY WARREN takes a look

Two Ipswich Town stars will be looking to take a big step towards this summer’s World Cup over the next week while a host of younger players look to further their international careers.

Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has been impressed by Ipswich stopper Bartosz Bialkowski following his first call-up to the Polish national team.

Luton boss Nathan Jones is disappointed to lose the services of midfielder Flynn Downes due to international duty but is pleased to see the Ipswich Town youngster continue his development with England Under 19s.

Fighting for a place in England’s World Cup squad might be tough work for Burnley’s Nick Pope but it beats riding a milk float in the early hours of the morning.

Ipswich Town goalkeeper Michael Crowe was taken by surprise when he found out he had been called up for international duty, but is determined to learn as much as he can while away with the Wales squad.

Ipswich Town fans want to see young defender Josh Emmanuel given his chance in the first team next season.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says Josh Emmanuel may be sent out on loan again next season.

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers hopes striker David McGoldrick has not played his last game for the club.

Season ticket prices, whether we’ll hear from owner Marcus Evans and manager Mick McCarthy’s future are the three big questions as Ipswich Town head into a two-week international break.

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