Back-to-back National Player of the Year Harriet Welham has announced that she will leave Ipswich Basketball Club this summer after a decade with the club. The 5’9 guard has led Ipswich’s golden generation for the past four years, racking up MVP’s in WNBL Division Two, and twice in Division One, while leading the club to an incredible six National Titles during that period of time.
Welham has been with Ipswich since she was an Under 14, with a brief stint in 2016/2017 playing at Essex Blades, while the Suffolk based club took a season out from senior competition.
Harriet will be suiting up for Besancon Basket Club, based in Eastern France, Playing in NFL 3 for the 2021/2022 season.
“It is time for Harriet to move on. She has been a wonderful player and ambassador for not only our programme, but for the WNBL in general, and she has accomplished everything you can in the National League” Said Ipswich Head Coach and Harriet’s long time mentor Nick Drane.
“Her journey to this point should inspire other young players to follow in her footsteps. She was not a star junior player, she hasn’t played for the National Team and didn’t really start to make a name for herself until the launch of the WEABL in 2015/2016. For me personally this is one of my proudest moments as a coach. Harriet and I have a special coach/player relationship that goes back nearly a decade, we have been through an awful lot together – she has become a dear friend and I will miss seeing her every day. The best part of this job is seeing people achieve their dreams and you have to be inspired by Harriet’s commitment to this goal – she is just relentless”.
Harriet released the following statement on social media on Wednesday evening:
"It’s been a really difficult decision debating whether I should stay or leave, but this is something that I feel like I have to do and now the timing feels right.
I’ve spent my whole career at this club and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world, but now I’m ready for the next step, I feel like I’ve completed everything I needed to at Ipswich, and now my time has come to move on and get out of my comfort zone.
Ipswich basketball means the world to me, it’s got me through the toughest days and it’s given me friendships that’ll last a lifetime and I’ll always be grateful.
None of this would’ve been possible without the club, the academy, the coaches I’ve had (especially Nick) and of course my teammates who have inspired me to be a better teammate and person.
I’m excited for what’s next and to prove a few people wrong along the way!
There’s honestly no place like home, thank you Ipswich Basketball, for everything. #14"
Harriet leaves Ipswich Basketball Club as one of the most decorated players, at senior level, in the clubs long history. Everyone at Ipswich Basketball Club wishes Harriet the very best as she moves on, and we hope to see her back in ‘Ipswich Blue’ one day.