County Upper player Bradley Day secures basketball scholarship in USA
Whatever happens on tour will definitely not stay on tour, with County Upper shouting delightedly from the rooftops about their latest success.
Mildenhall’s Bradley Day, 18, has been scouted by Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in Iowa after County Upper played them on their USA Tour this week – and has already signed a scholarship from the 2019/20 academic year, to study for an Associates of Art degree.
It is the second scholarship offer DMACC have handed to County Upper players, with Elliot Defreitas – who now plays professionally with Thames Valley Cavaliers – inspiring Day and showing what he can achieve with three years in the home of basketball.
It is a place head coach Darren Johnson has a solid relationship, having played and coached at the college during the 1999 to 2001 seasons. They play in one of the most challenging regions of Division Two of the NJCAA league.
Johnson said that a team from their region had been crowned National Champions in two of the last three years, to demonstrate the quality of the division.
Day is in his third year of County Upper’s Basketball Academy and is on his third USA Tour, and had already raised DMACC scouts’ eyebrows in previous trips.
He said: “When they sat me down and spoke about wanting me to sign a letter of intent as well as being a part of their 2019/2020 programme it was surreal, but not so much of a surprise because coach Johnson spoke to me last year saying they were interested.
“It is a dream come true. I have always wanted to play basketball in the USA, but never thought that it would actually come true.
“It has still not really sunk in. My ultimate goal would be to follow in Elliott’s foot steps and become a professional player.”
Coach Johnson, meanwhile, said he knew they were interested last year and so felt the extra year at County Upper had only better prepared him.
“This didn’t come as a surprise to me as I knew they were interested in signing Bradley last year,” he said.
“The coach did speak to me at the game saying they would most likely offer him a scholarship but wanted to watch him in the game first.
“I didn’t let Brad know of this, but instead said he just needs to go out there, play hard and have fun.
“This trip has been put together for multiple reasons: one of these reasons is for exposure, but this trip also serves to show our players the difference in the game and the level of the players they have to compete with to get over here.
“Lastly, it shows our players the facilities and support that student-players have available to them in the USA”.
CU lost 110-36 to DMACC. They were led in scoring by Kelechi Asuzu (12 points), John Bourne (8 points) and Jordan Boyd (7 points).