August 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Borough squad are basketball heroes
Newham’s girls’ basketball team scooped up gold at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games – and captain Brenda Kipewu says the next stop for her is pursuing the American dream.
Kipewu ensured Newham improved on last year’s semi-finalappearance, where they secured third place, by beating Southwark to clinch the title in front of a packed crowd at Crystal Palace.
And though it is the end of the road for much of the team as far as the London Youth Games is concerned, England under-18 international Kipewu insists victory will live long in the memory.
Kipewu was one of those to have bid farewell to European’s largest annual youth sport event and she now has her sights firmly set on taking her skills across the pond to America.
“It feels fantastic to have won the gold medal,” she said.
“We hadn’t won for a while and this was my last year so the team and I had to give it all and we managed to do that.
“I was born in Newham and I thought that I had to do something for my borough and we’ve done that by winning the title for them.
“My dream is to go to America and play college basketball and, who knows, maybe get drafted for the WNBA.
“To go to college is my first aim and then play basketball in Europe or other parts of the world or, if I’m really lucky, eventually in the WNBA.
“I’ve got one more year of school so we will see what happens. I’m part of the England under-18 team and went to Bosnia a couple of weeks ago, so that was a really good experience for me.
“I’ve been part of England teams back and forth since I was in year seven and I want to try and cement my spot if I can.”
Newham eventually finished in 27th place in the overall Jubilee Trophy standings, slightly down from 23rd last year.
But Kipewu insisted everyone involved with the borough squad should be immensely proud of their efforts.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be quite like it was, but it was a really good experience and I’m proud that we got the good result,” she added.
“I’m very proud of everyone. Competing at the London Youth Games is an amazing experience and the Games are always so competitive.”
■ London boroughs and Balfour Beatty invest in London Youth Games to build stronger communities through competitive sport.