As the regular National League season ended for basketball players in England, the county, regional and international tournaments commenced.
The County Upper basketball team have had 21 girls and boys make the Suffolk team across all the age groups.
Of this 21, eight players made it through to the first round of trials for the East region, while four players went on to make regional squads and compete in national tournaments.
The East region historically do really well so to be selected for one of the teams is a huge achievement for the individuals and County Upper as a club.
Regional competition is the first real step in National talent identification and there are England coaches at all of the tournaments looking to select players for the first round of training camps after summer.
Lewis French and Grace Spooner were selected for the under-11 regional squads, which is the youngest age group and the starting point for regional competitions.
Both performed brilliantly at the tournament with the East boys winning the entire tournament and the East girls coming in a close second in theirs.
The next player to make the jump from Suffolk to East was Aleks Popov.
After playing under-13 girls’ national league for the first time last season, she continued her success by making the regional tournament team for the under-13 girls.
The girls finished fourth after losing an extremely close game in the finals.
Popov will return next year competing for the under-14 girls’ team.
County Upper coach Billy Beddow was selected to assistant coach the East under-13 and under-17 boys’ squads and they had similar success stories.
The under-13 boys won the entire tournament, while the under-17 team came second.
Coach Beddow said: “It’s been a great experience for me. I’ve loved working with top level coaches like Adam Davies and Pete Charlwood.
“You give up your free time during the summer holidays but you gain so much knowledge and advice that will help you during the National League season.”
The final entry from the club was Phoebe Parker who made the tournament team for the under-17 girls’ RDT.
Parker is new to the sport and jumping straight in at regional level was a huge challenge for her.
East girls started slowly on the first day, losing to London and North West, but fought back to beat East Midlands and South East on the second day of competition.
Parker has worked hard to improve her all around fundamentals and we hope she continues with the same commitment she has shown over the last few months.
Also, a big well done to Bryony, Lucy H, Amelia B and Faith who made it through to the primary stages of regional trainings.
County Upper wish the East under-15 boys and girls teams the best of luck in their respective tournaments.