Basketball players in US training link

Ipswich Basketball Club will be sending some of its best young players over to talent camps in the United States thanks to a link with American company EnergySolutions.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

Ipswich Basketball Club will be sending some of its best young players over to talent camps in the United States thanks to a link with American company EnergySolutions.

EnergySolutions have long had an affiliation with basketball and sponsor the home arena of the NBA's Utah Jazz.

The company, which manages the Sizewell A nuclear site, is now funding a player development programme at Ipswich which will see the club's best players attend a premier basketball camp in Florida this August.

It is the Ipswich Tomcats' Under-15 players who will benefit from this initiative, their coach Denis Dixon preparing to choose three of his players to attend the five-star camp.

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Having grown up in Canada, Dixon knows just how good the standard across the Atlantic will be. He said: “This will be a massive experience for whoever goes. The level of competition that they will be up against will be two or three times more intense than what they are used to.

“Myself and the other coaches are still in the process of selecting which boys will go and it's proving very tough.

“When we first knew we were doing this a couple of boys immediately sprung to mind, but as the season progressed the choice became harder and harder.

“Ability will be one factor in the selection, but we need to bear in mind who will be the best representatives for, not only this club and Suffolk, but also British basketball in general.

“We're hoping that whoever goes can learn enough to bring back and share with the rest of the club.”

Ipswich Basketball Chairman Pavel Kricka said: “This is great for the team. Not only is it a great opportunity for the lucky few who will make it to the camp, it is a real incentive for all the players to work hard in developing their skills, attitude and teamwork - aspects of the game that are really important to us.

“The commitment Suffolk Basketball has to developing youth through their basketball programs reflects the same commitment EnergySolutions shows in its company's approach to solving environmental issues with safe, innovative programs.”

EnergySolution's Bob Kury, the Sizewell A site director, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Tomcats this year. It is great to see this kind of programme giving young people something positive to focus on. With EnergySolutions already established in the sport, let's hope we are seeing some of the sport's future stars in the making.”

The Ipswich Tomcats U15s narrowly missed out on the play-off places in the National League this year, finishing in fifth place in South Division One.