Ipswich Basketball gathered on mass on Saturday the 14th May as the whole programme, from the U14s, to the Senior Men and Women, as well as parents, sponsors and members of the media, attended the clubs annual ‘End of Season Dinner and Awards Evening’ at Venue 16 in Ipswich.
The evening is always a fantastic celebration of the season and an emotional night, as stories and achievements are shared from across the club.
On the night, there were several highlights. Most notably was a tribute for Head Coach Nick Drane. as the club celebrated his 20th year coaching basketball as a professional. Club Chairman Josh Carson spoke proudly about the impact Nick has had on basketball in the area, on his success national but most importantly his never ending passion, standards and energy for driving the club as well as the players and staff within it forward.
Coach John Yorke also spoke about his U14 girls team, and their amazing season that saw make it all the way to the Final Fours, as did the U18 Women who finished second on the country in both National League and the National Cup. Elsewhere, there were some touching moments – Danny Manning speaking for the first time as a Head Coach at the ‘black tie’ event was a highlight for many people while Kevin Manning, Ben Scarlett and Adam Robinson also took the stage to speak from the heart about their experiences this season. Aaron Williams was awarded Senior Men’s MVP, while Cameron Taylor-Willis was named Senior Women’s MVP in her final season with the club.
U14 Coach John Yorke, was named the winner of the ‘Bernard Ball Award’ for his work on court and behind the scenes, helping the club during the pandemic with testing and meeting COVID protocols, sorting out the clubs livestream and always being on hand to fix things when needed. Nina Wadda was presented with the ‘Kathryn James Award’ while Owen Underwood took home the ‘Tomcat of the Year’ trophy.
A full list of award winners can be seen below. Each team has three awards available: Most Valuable Player, Coaches Player of the Year and Most Improved Player
Bernard Ball Award: John Yorke
Tomcat of the Year: Owen Underwood
Kathryn James Award: Nina Wadda
MVP: Cameron Taylor-Willis
COACHES: Ava Battese
MIP: Christabel Osarobo
MVP: Aaron Williams
COACHES: Idriss Lebbie
MIP: Ben Michaels
MVP: Ben Michaels
COACHES: Joe Thomas
MIP: Tyreese Perry-Huggins
MVP: Olivia Forster
COACHES: Saruna Gudza
MIP: Olivia Manning
MVP: Daniel Mann
COACHES: Harry Laws
MIP: Sam Wood
MVP: Holly Heard
COACHES: Lauren Liddamore
MIP: Deanna Carrington
MVP: Cyril Driscoll
COACHES: Okeri Hambira
MIP: Beresford James-Overett
MVP: Julien Bacabag
COACHES: Clara Majeed
MIP: Ella Heard
In addition to the awards presentations, there were four video presentations throughout the evening. All videos from the evening can be watched again below:
Opening Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye2E9EG-pRk
Tribute Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eLHb3zL47I
This is Ipswich Basketball Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAOm7TZFhvU
Click here for the full set of photos from the night, thanks to Chairman Josh Carson’s father Bill Carson for capturing the events of the evening!
To all of the players, coaches, support staff, parents and sponsors who attended and made the night so special, this event would not have been possible without you. Special thanks go to Kay Thomas, who organised the event and who the club cannot thank enough for all of her hard work and dedication.