Ipswich Basketball’s Senior Men’s team are gearing up for a return to action this season by welcoming a clutch of familiar faces and one or two new arrivals to join two established stars of the club on what appears to be a very promising roster.
Having missed out on the 2020/21 Covid-impacted season entirely and without a competitive fixture since March 2020, Adam Robinson’s side are a much-changed outfit, with only five players returning from the final fixture of the 2019/20 season.
Backcourt stars Luke Mascall-Wright and Jake Eynon will lead Ipswich’s charge once again, the pair committing to return after taking a break from competitive basketball last season. Having finished first and third in scoring in Division 2 last time out as they combined to average over 55 points per game, IBA products Eynon and Mascall-Wright are looking forward to putting on a show for the returning Copleston crowd.
“It’s been a long eighteen months, but basketball is back and more importantly we can play in front of the Ipswich faithful again,” said Eynon. “We can’t wait to bring showtime back to Copleston!
“We have one goal this year – we have to target promotion and fight for that Division 2 title. If we can get a packed Copleston for every home game and protect our home court, that’ll give the players a huge boost towards promotion!”
Steve Hemmings, Blake Read and Marvin Isebor are all returning too, an ideal core for the new arrivals to build around.
Headlining those new faces is Will Ashby, a polished two-way guard with years of Division 1 experience who figures to form an imposing backcourt with Eynon and Mascall-Wright.
“I’m really excited to join Ipswich and very much looking forward to the start of the new season,” said Ashby, who spent last year playing at Division 1 Barking Abbey. “I look forward to playing with a great group that includes some friends and former team mates. The team that Coach Robinson has put together looks great and I think we have a team built to really compete this year in all competitions.”
Most of the other “new” recruits will be familiar to the Copleston crowd, as Lee Hodges, Colin Dockrell, Joel Keeble and Cameron Hawes all return, bringing over 25 years of senior IBC experience back to the roster. Also joining the fold are forward Bill Pryor and guard Brandon Moncrieffe, who are making the step up from Division 3 with Chelmsford Lions and County Upper Wolves respectively.
The coaching staff remains unchanged, with Adam Robinson at the helm and Rob Schatten, back from a season on the Senior Women’s bench, serving as assistant coach.
“I’m delighted with the roster we have been able to put together,” said Robinson. “It’s always great to be able to welcome back former IBC players to the club, as we place huge value in our family. In Lee, Joel, Colin and Cameron, we’re bringing back four very experienced NBL veterans.
“Will Ashby is a very exciting signing, again bringing a wealth of Division 1 experience and veteran leadership. I’m really excited to see how far we can go as a group this season.”
Pre-season has started well, with Eynon and Ashby keying a late comeback as an understrength Ipswich overcame newly promoted fellow Division 2 contenders, Richmond Knights, 82-78. The team’s preparation continued this weekend gone, as University of East Anglia Panthers came to Copleston with their Division 3 side. The home side ran out 92-60 winners.
Want to get involved with IBC? We’re still looking for Team Managers, Assistant Coaches and sponsorship partners to join us ahead of what promises to be a historic 2021/22 season. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.