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Sam Wood commits to Lakeview Prep Academy (USA) for 2024/25

Endeavour Ipswich Basketball and IBA Copleston star Sam Wood has committed to Lakeview Prep Academy for the 2024/25 season. Wood joins a growing list of IBA players to pursue prep-school basketball in the States as he follows in the footsteps of ex-teammate Tyreese Perry-Huggins and joins Coach Douglas Liechner over at Lakeview. The 6ft7 forward erupted onto the English Basketball scene this past season averaging a 16pts and 12.2rbs double double in the EABL Southern Conference.

Sam was a relatively late starter in basketball, joining Endeavour Ipswich Basketball Club as an Under 16 after being scouted due to his size and athleticism. Under Coach Danny Manning's stewardship, Sam thrived in his sole Under 16s season before joining Ipswich Basketball Academy at Copleston Sixth Form for the past two years. This season, Sam assumed the mantle of full-time starter and leader on a young team featuring only one third year player.

Opening the season with 20 points and 8 rebounds, Sam established a reputation as a tough rebounder, with several huge double doubles, including 15 points and 23 rebounds against Oaklands in December, and 10 points and 20 rebounds against CoLA in January.

Sam becomes the fourth member of the IBA EABL squad over the last three years to pursue prep-school basketball in the USA before an aspirant college career, following Ben Michaels (recent Buffallo commit), Joe Thomas (now at NBL D3 Playoff Finalists Essex) and Tyreese Perry-Huggins (a recent graduate of Lakeview Prep Academy).

Academy Men's Coach Danny Manning said “We are incredibly proud of Sam and all his hard work. Having only joined Endeavour Ipswich Basketball at the start of the 2021/22 season he has taken every opportunity to develop and has become a fantastic ambassador for our club and academy pathway. It has been a pleasure seeing first-hand the growth Sam has made as he’s become not only a promising basketball player but outstanding young man. We wish him all the best.”

Sam added: "I am extremely grateful to receive an opportunity to continue my basketball career over in the states. I am incredibly humbled to be in this situation and cannot wait to get started. This would have never been possible if it was not for the amazing support from those around me. I would like to thank my family for their continuous support and flexibility in order to help me with attending all practices and games. They have stuck in my corner throughout my journey and have allowed me to follow my dreams every step of the way. Without them I would not be in this position making my dreams a reality.

I would like to thank all my coaches who have helped me both on and off the court during my time at Ipswich Basketball club. I would like to thank Coach Manning for all of the time and effort he has invested into me in my performance. He has developed me both as a player and a person and for this I am extremely grateful. The trust and reliance he has put in me over my three years at the club has given me a platform to excel and words cannot describe how thankful I am for this. I would also like to thank Coach Drane for being a reliant mentor during my time at the club. Coach Drane’s wisdom has ameliorated my game and as a result made me a better player.

The programme has played a massive part in my character development, and I will always be in debt to the opportunity the programme has given me. I would like to extend my thanks to the coaches, my teammates, staff, volunteers and supporters at Ipswich Basketball club. Last but not least I would like to thank my teammates for helping me to become the best player I possibly can by challenging me every training session to get better and supporting me through my accomplishments. I look forward to taking the skills I have acquired from Ipswich Basketball Club to the next step. I am ready and excited to work with Coach Leichner and the rest of Lakeview Basketball Academy moving forward."



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