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Ben Michaels commits to NCAA D1 University of Buffalo

Endeavour Ipswich Basketball Club and Ipswich Basketball Academy are delighted to announce that alumni wing Ben Michaels (class of 2024) has announced his commitment to the University of Buffalo.

Ben came through the ranks in his hometown of Ipswich, representing the club from Under 12 all the way through to the Senior Men and Academy during his near 9 year association with Ipswich Basketball Club. Following his first year at Ipswich Basketball Academy, based at Copleston Sixth Form, Ben was recruited by Long Island Lutheran High School in New York City, US, where he has spent the last two seasons playing a key role in one of the top 5 ranked high school basketball teams in the US.

During primary school, Ben was scouted as part of the Playground2Pro community programme, before demonstrating his potential throughout his junior career. In his second Under 16 season, with the NBL junior regular season curtailed due to COVID, Ben thrived as a member of Copleston's Ipswich Basketball Academy. In the 2021-22 season, as a full member of the Academy side, Ben was named to the All South EABL Second Team, despite being just 16 years old throughout the whole season. This form was also rewarded with a selection to the NBA Academy Games, as well as a spot in the roster for the marquee clash between a Hoopsfix Elite roster and California Basketball Club.

Ben in action for Ipswich Basketball Academy

In Ben's two years at Long Island Lutheran in New York he has continued to blossom, starting for a side ranked top 5 in the US by ESPN throughout the entire 2023-24 season. Long Island competed in the Nike EYBL Scholastic competition, sitting in second place in the standings behind the fabled Montverde Academy and above schools such as Oak Hill Academy and La Lumiere School (high school of British NBA star Jeremy Sochan).

Alongside Ben's junior career in Ipswich and Long Island, he has also represented GB Under 18s in the European Championships on two occasions, in 2022 and 2023. He also represented a Hoopsfix Select side coached by his Academy Coach Nick Drane to face off against Ben's former teammate Ethan Price's Eastern Washington University side on their European tour.

Ben will join another rising GB star and Under 18 teammate Tim Oboh in Buffalo, after the Canterbury product announced his commitment this month, ensuring that Buffalo will be must-watch for British Basketball fans over the coming years. The Buffalo Bulls play in the Mid-American Conference under Head Coach George Halcovage and have appeared in the NCAA D1 Tournament four times since 2015, including two second round appearances. Importantly, Buffalo also play in 'Ipswich Blue'*.

Academy Director, and Ben's EABL Head Coach, Nick Drane said of the announcement: "Ben has been a huge part of the Ipswich Basketball Family since he was in primary school - he is another player that has been right through our pathway from our Playground2Pro community programme, to club basketball, to the academy and our men’s team.

He was given an opportunity of a lifetime and it was something that was simply too good to turn down. We are all so proud of Ben and his journey and he will always be part of our programme."

Ben added: "I’m blessed to have made my commitment to the University at Buffalo, I would like to thank everyone who supported me on my journey. Nauris and BSA, Coach Buck, Coach Jay David and the whole Luhi staff aswell as my teammates who’ve become my family over my time here. I want to thank my Mum and my family for always backing me through everything. I’m ready and excited to working with Coach Jake, Coach George and the rest of the Bulls family moving forward. My journey has taken a lot of hard work, in my hardest moments, I've relied on my faith in God, and trusted in people like my coaches in Ipswich, Coach Drane and Coach Goodrich, people that, on and off the floor, have held me to a standard that was higher than the level I was at. My success is their success. Hebrews 11:6 says our faith is important and God rewards our faith. Without God my belief is I would not have gotten this far."

*not the official name of the colour


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