Bball talents aiming for 2016 Olympics

IPSWICH could have a triumvirate of interest in the Great Britain basketball side come the 2016 Olympics if a recent junior international camp is anything to go by.

Stuart Watson

IPSWICH could have a triumvirate of interest in the Great Britain basketball side come the 2016 Olympics if a recent junior international camp is anything to go by.

For the first time ever last month GB Basketball brought together the very best young players in the country for a training camp - the entire GB Under-20 squad being joined by the best 10 players at England U18 and U16 level.

That meant that 18-year-old former Ipswich player Lee Greenan and 15-year-old current Tomcats player Dylan Johns were joined by Ipswich coach Nick Drane who was asked to attend as one of five coaches.

Drane, 26, said: “Other than Manchester, if you include myself and Lee, Ipswich were the best represented club in the country at the camp. It was a very proud and surreal moment for me when I was stood there with the two of them in our GB kit. I just thought to myself, we haven't done too badly.”

Looking towards the future for Greenan, Johns and himself, Drane said: “Lee has a chance of making London 2012 but it will all come down to how well he applies himself. As for myself, while it would a dream to be at 2012, it's more likely I could be involved as an assistant coach in 2016 or 2020.

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“It makes 2016 an exciting prospect when we could have both Lee, Dylan and even myself amongst Great Britain's Olympic basketball set-up.”

And with Ipswich Basketball Club's Ben Mead also currently in the England Under-15 development squad and 12-year-old Ipswich player Robinson Maka heavily tipped for future international honours, the future looks bright for a strong Suffolk presence on the biggest stage.

Drane, who will head up the new Ipswich Basketball Academy based out of Copleston Sports College come September, said: “Ipswich has got its boys programme to this stage by shooting for the stars and attempting to be the best.”