Jacob has the world at his feet

At 17 years old basketball player Jacob Swift has got the world at his feet - but it has not always been that way.At the age of just nine Jacob became a supplementary carer for his 26 year-old mother Helen after she developed a severe degree of the intestinal condition Crohn's disease.

At 17 years old basketball player Jacob Swift has got the world at his feet - but it has not always been that way.

At the age of just nine Jacob became a supplementary carer for his 26 year-old mother Helen after she developed a severe degree of the intestinal condition Crohn's disease.

Also looking after his younger sister Poppy, three years his junior, Swift took on his duties without fuss, while continuing to do well at school despite suffering from dyslexia.

If that wasn't enough, Jacob was to suffer a collapsed lung in 2005, escaping death by a matter of minutes according to doctors.

Two years on from that dramatic injury however, Jacob has emerged as something of a minor celebrity in the local basketball scene after playing a key role in the Ipswich Tomcats Under-18s promotion to the top level of junior basketball last season,

With the sport becoming ever popular in the Primary Schools around town, hundreds of children have been turning up to see their Tomcats heroes play.

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And when they were asked to dress up as their favourite player at one home game last season, an overwhelming majority turned out as Swift, the crowd pleaser with street ball style skills and indefinable feel of 'cool' off the court.

Taking time out to chat to the youngsters or sign autographs is never too much of a problem for Swift and he has been praised by his coaches for the way he connects with the children when coaching on community courses.

Following his success for Ipswich, Swift flew out to America this summer to trial for a number of top New Jersey sports colleges.

A member of the highly rated Moulton Basketball Academy in Northampton, Swift also won Division C of the European Under-18 Championships with Scotland (eligible through his grandfather) earlier this year.

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