Ali leads successful year for former students

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Ali McCann has been named in the Academic All Conference Team in what has proved a big year for former County Upper School pupils in America.

Currently playing in his third year at Hannibal Lagrange University in Missouri, McCann, one of County Upper Basketball Academy’s first intake, was granted the accolade, awarded to student athletes who attain the highest grades in their leagues.

Starting in 24 of the 30 games he played this season, McCann became renowned for his eye for a basket, finishing as one of the top three-point shooters with a 40 percent success rate, at National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division One level.

“This is great news for Ali, I am really proud of his achievement” said Darren Johnson, head coach of County Upper Basketball Academy.

“He was a work horse while with us and has taken this attitude with him to the USA. He is now reaping the rewards of putting all this hard work and effort into both his basketball and academic programme.

“I am hoping he has a stellar senior year which will open the door to opportunities after University.”

Another former student to be recognised for his performances this year is Michael Warner, who has been selected for the 2013 Association of Division Three Independents first team.

Enjoying a solid breakout season with The University of Maine Presque Isle Owls, Warner made a staggering 124 of 261 of his total shots and also hit 80.8 per cent of his total free-throws.

Dan Shaw has put a disappointing period with the Alaska Fairbanks behind him to make promising progress at new school Emporia State.

Having gained a new scholarship after failing to settle at Fairbanks, Shaw has coped well in his second-year in one of the toughest NCAA Division Two leagues, featuring in 20 games for the Hornets, making 45.8 per cent of his total shots.

“Michael is a great person, student and basketball player, he was always a great asset to our programme and has proved to be a great asset at UMPI, this recognition is a true reflection of his talent,” added Johnson.

“Although Dan has found things a little hard I know he has grown stronger as a person and a player. I am sure Dan will now be able to go into his second year at Emporia more relaxed and know what is expected of him.”

Two other players who have started to show their potential are Abraham Ekperuoh and Jake Ebbon who both graduated from County Upper Basketball Academy in 2012 and signed with Dawson Community College.

Ekperuoh made an instant impact during his first season with the Dawson Buccaneers, starting in 14 of the 17 games he played, finishing as his side’s second leading scorer, averaging 10.7 points a game, while Ebbon enjoyed 18 starts with the team making 36.5 per cent of his shots.