With 12 years of history, it’s time to look back everyone at our achievements. As County Upper change their name to West Suffolk Wolves it is only right to reflect on how the club has grown and the history of success.
Reminiscing back to 2008, where it all started with just 13 players. These 13 were 16 to 17 year olds from not only Suffolk but Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire also, playing for the U19 Elite Academy team , as well being A level students at County Upper School. During these boys first ever season, they placed County on the basketball map by reaching the final 16 teams in the National School Tournament. Unfortunately, the journey ended in a close game against the Bristol Flyers Academy at the time. None of the less, not bad for first season! Luke Simon, Billy Beddow, Ali McCann and Ben Warden also set the standards high back in 2008 by playing for the East region team. Followed by Grant Bangs, James Dawson and George Crudgington in 2009 and Olly Crussell in 2010.
A few years later in 2012, with a more established academy team, the club began alongside the academy. By adding the Under 14 and Under 16 boys teams, County Upper gradually started to grow and expand to different age groups. In the 2016-17 season the Under 14 team became East Conference Champions losing only 1 game out of the 16! As well as Toby and Jake Andrews playing for the east region team in 2012 and Jake Ebbon the year before that. Blayne Frecklton was also a regional player in 2012 for the South.
In the 2015-2016 season County entered an Under 18 National League boys team for the first time; they still managed an 11-5 outcome that season! Despite that season being a bit experimental and not continuing with the National League team for a few years after, County have recently had an increasing number of players. Due to this, an U18 National League team is considered a potential option for following years.
With the ability for players to grow throughout the club and into the academy, it gives them an opportunity to play in the States. Annually, the academy team go overseas to experience American basketball to aide their chances of gaining an athletic scholarship. Now in 2020, 42 of WSW players have committed to universities overseas.. I guess we must be doing something right!
On top of that, a further four of our players have gone to play professional basketball. In 2014, Grant Bangs played for Selfoss-Basket in Iceland. Blayne Frecklton in 2015 played for London Lions in England, as well as Abraham Ekperuoh the following year in 2016. And finally Elliott Defreatas playing for Virtus Basket Fondi in Italy 2017. Hopefully soon we will be able to add to this list!
In 2017 also, Jordan Boyd, Bradley Day and Arron Nelson played for the East of England, after Tomisin Olumoroti and Stefan Petovik in 2016 and Jed Robinson in 2015. And to nearly complete the list of regional players, Alex Brown, Charlie Fitch as well as the Andrew brothers played regionally in 2013.
Not only have our players competed at a county and regional level but also nationally. Rodger Watts played internationally with Scotland’s U18 team in 2012. Charlie Fitch and Jed Robinson were also seen in national spotlight playing for the England U17 team. Fitch in 2013 and Robinson the following year in 2014.
While reflecting on these famous past players, it’s only right to consider the current too. It goes without saying the WSW still has talent, as Lewis French and Charlie Smythe have both represented the East of England. French in 2015 and 2016; Smythe in 2019. Basketball England have only just began an Under12 National League last season, 2018-19. With a collaberation of Swish Coaching, run by past player Elliott Defreatas, and County Upper’s Friday night mixed sessions, West Suffolk Wolves are now ready to face next season 2020-21 with confidence. So with time, West Suffolk Wolves can now offer teams and competition for all age groups from Under 12 boys to Senior men.
So with all said and done we can definitely say time flies! During these strange times due to the Coronavirus outbreak it only seems right to write this article. County Upper has come a long way and by changing the club name to West Suffok Wolves, it only allows opportunity for more growth.
If any players want to follow in these footsteps and become a part of our basketball community, please contact email@example.com