Tomcats' call for tall children

Using your height on the basketball court could turn your life around.That is the message from Ipswich Basketball Club coach Nick Drane as he looks to reach as many of Suffolk's tallest schoolchildren as possible.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

Using your height on the basketball court could turn your life around.

That is the message from Ipswich Basketball Club coach Nick Drane as he looks to reach as many of Suffolk's tallest schoolchildren as possible.

Drane is hoping to speak to girls and boys that are 5'9 or over in school years seven and eight over the coming months to tell them about the benefits basketball could hold for them.

Having been a tall child himself, and having coached the likes of towering teenagers Leigh Greenan at 7'0 and Michael Holbrook at 6'8, Drane is keen to see other tall children see their height as an advantage rather than disadvantage.

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He said: “At 13 years-old Leigh (Greenan) was already 6'7. When I first met him two years ago he was always slouched and I had to tell him to stand up tall.

“I think at times he would rebel against his height. It could put him in difficult situations where he would be pulled up for fighting when all he had done was knock someone over because of his size.

“Michael (Holbrook) is a different case in that he is an exceptionally quiet lad. To start with there were times when he wouldn't talk at all the whole way up to an away game on the coach.

“Basketball has really brought him out of his shell and now he is a lot more confident and is always involved in the banter.

“Basketball gives these tall youngsters a belief in themselves and shows them something that they can be good at because of their height. Being able to walk amongst other giants doesn't make them feel so different.

“A lot of these kids don't understand their height or don't know what to do with it. I'm not saying they will all want to play basketball, but we're just letting them know about the possibility.

“Many of these kids have had to put up with being treated negatively because of their height and what we are saying is that basketball can counteract that by giving their height a positive reaction.”

- Are you in school years seven or eight and are 5'9 or above? If so, contact Nick Drane on: 07879841749 or at: nickdranecsc@hotmail.co.uk.

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