Updated: Nov 28, 2022
In Ipswich we are proud that so many of our junior and Academy players have taken their basketball journeys to the next level following their time in Suffolk. This season we want to help the Ipswich (and wider British Basketball) family keep a track on our alumni with Alumni Watch, throughout the season.
Headlining our alumni is Senior guard Caleb Fuller. Caleb, having completed his undergraduate study at University of California, Davis, has taken advantage of his additional year of eligibility granted due to covid. Having completed his degree in Managerial Economics and being named to two consecutive Big West Conference All-Academic Teams (2021 and 2022), Caleb has graduate-transferred to Montana State who play in the Big Sky Conference, where he will play alongside fellow Brits Jubrile Belo and Great Osobor. Last week, Big Sky Conference Coaches and Media selected Montana State as the #1 team in the conference, in their pre-season Media and Coaches poll. Big things are expected of Caleb and his side in the coming year.
Fighting Caleb and his teammates for the Big Sky crown is Ethan Price of Eastern Washington University. Another former Ipswich junior and Academy graduate, Ethan is the reigning Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year. Ethan finished his first year stateside with averages of 9.9 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game, while starting all 34 contests for EWU. No stranger to personal accolades, Ethan is the only player in EABL history to be named Most Valuable Player twice, and will be looking to have another huge year this season.
Esther Little will also be plying her trade on the West Coast again this season, in her Sophomore year with the Gonzaga Bulldogs in Spokane, Washington. Joining an experienced squad, Esther found consistent playing time hard to come by in her Freshman year but will be better for the experience after a storied junior and senior career with Ipswich came to an end 16 months ago. A serial winner, Little was part of a Gonzaga squad that won the West Conference Tournament in 2022, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament where they were knocked out in the Round of 32.
Joining Esther in NCAA Division 1 on the Women's side is Susannah Rafiu, who will shortly be returning from injury and getting back on court with Columbia University in the Ivy League Conference. Susannah will be a true Freshman this year and will be hoping to make an impact on a team that finished 22-6 last season.
In NCAA Division 2, old friends Ashleigh Pink and Maya Price will be reuniting in the Sunshine State Conference for Barry University and Eckerd College respectively. Ashleigh returns for her Senior year after gaining an additional year of eligibility, while Maya Price became the second ever Eckerd Triton to win the SSC Player of the Year award, as well as Defensive Player of the Year.
Finally, 7ft big man Jonny Hall begins his Senior year at Missouri Valley College in the Heard of America Athletic Conference in NAIA, where he will look to finish his college career off in style.
Outside of the US, in France, Josh Apple joins Calais Basket Club Dragons in the 4th tier following his graduation from East Central University where he amassed averages of 14.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in his senior season. He joins Harriet Welham on the continent, after Harriet signed on to return for her second year at Besancon Basket Club in the 5th tier, following back to back Player of the Year awards in her final two season in Ipswich. Harriet shone in France in her debut season, averaging over 17 points and 10 rebounds a game.
Back on home soil, several former Ipswich players will be suiting up in a variety of high-tier British programmes. Cameron Taylor-Willis continues her basketball and academic journey by moving to WBBL Essex Rebels following her enrolment at the University of Essex. Essex Rebels this past weekend secured their first win of the season and sit at 1-3 in these early stages. Cameron joins a long list of Ipswich juniors who now call Essex home, including Ben and Rory Winter, Jake Eynon, Lee Linton-Hodges and Dylan Johns. Johns, following spells playing professionally abroad, returns to the UK some 9 years since leaving Ipswich to join Texas A&M in NCAA D1. Essex sit at 2-2 so far this year. Also in NBL D1 is Veron Eze, who returns to the UK after a year studying at Augustana University to sign for the unbeaten Worthing Thunder (4-0), while former Academy guard Moyo Adekeye moves into his second year with the Nottingham Wildcats, with his side victorious already over Essex Rebels and also sitting unbeaten at 4-0.
Keep an eye out for updates from many of the above over the course of the season!
Forever part of the #IBCfamily