Endeavour Ipswich Basketball Club and IBA Copleston star Christabel Osarobo has verbally committed to Gonzaga University. The class of 2024 athletic wing has been heavily recruited by a number of D1 School’s and has chosen Gonzaga after a successful visit last month. Osarobo joins fellow Ipswich product, Esther Little, at one of the top University programmes in the U.S.
Christabel was named WEABL South Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player in the 2022/2023 season.
Gonzaga, who are consistently in the top 20 in the NCAA Division One rankings, were once again the West Coast Conference (WCC) Champions in the 2022/2023 season, and are expected to continue to be a powerhouse programme in the WCC in the coming season. This means Osarobo is likely to have the opportunity to play a part in the NCAA tournament, as part of a top programme, as she continues to develop at a rapid pace.
The 5’11 wing has exploded onto the English Basketball scene, having established herself as one of the most exciting players in u18’s, WEABL and WNBL. She was a key contributor on the Ipswich team that won the u18 National League and Cup double in 2023, and has shown massive development in her two seasons at Copleston.
Christabel becomes the fourth D1 player to come out of the Ipswich girls/women’s programme in the last three years, joining Esther Little (Gonzaga), Susannah Rafiu (Columbia) and Anya McKenzie (Tarleton State).
Christabel is at the start of her third year at Ipswich Basketball Academy (IBA) based at Copleston High School & Sixth Form, one of the leading academies as part of the England Development Programme (EDP). During her time with the programme so far, she has helped Ipswich to two u18 Final Fours appearances (2022 & 2023), two national cup finals (2022 & 2023) two WEABL Final Fours (2022 & 2023), the u18 playoff and cup championship double (2023) while emerging as a key starter for the Ipswich Senior Women in WNBL Division One.
In 2023/2024, her final year with Ipswich Christabel has made her goals clear:
“I want to keep getting better, and improving my game. I also want to help Ipswich be successful and help put the programme in a good position moving forward. We want to win every time we step on the floor, and last season was great, especially in the u18 competition. When I came to Ipswich it was because of the obvious track record of players developing here, and getting to the next level – I want future Ipswich players to see what I have done and want to do the same, just like I did when I came here in 2021”. Osarobo added “Seeing what Esther achieved while she was here was a huge selling point for me, so the fact that I am going to get the chance to play alongside here is kind of crazy. I hope that in the future, young players will look up to me in the same way”.
Endeavour Ipswich Basketball Club Ipswich Head Coach Nick Drane said: “What an incredible opportunity this is for Christabel, and one that she has undoubtedly earned. When she arrived here she was very raw, but the talent and potential was obvious and she was worked incredibly hard to get this opportunity. Obviously we know Gonzaga well, we have a great relationship with the staff and have got to know them well through Esther, and now Christabel’s recruitment. It’s awesome to think two Ipswich girls will be playing together in one of the best and most prestigious basketball programme’s in the world”.
On signing for Gonzaga Christabel had this to say “As soon as Gonzaga started recruiting me, I knew it’s where I wanted to play. I had an instant connection with the coaches, and once I visited I literally fell in love with everything about it there – it’s the perfect fit for me and I cant wait to get started”.
Christabel will play for Copleston in the WEABL and Endeavour Ipswich Basketball in WNBL Division One for the 2023/2024 season before embarking on the next stage of her basketball adventure.
A message from Christabel:
I'd like to thank my family for everything they have done for me in my life, I have been incredibly lucky to come from a family of hardworking people who are willing to support me in whatever I do. They have always pushed me to become the best version of myself, on and off the court, and I can never thank them enough for always being there for me from the beginning, I owe God, them and Ipswich Basketball Club, especially my coach Nick Drane, for how far I have come.