Ipswich and England Under-16 guard Veron Eze has signed with Serie B side Stella Azzura in Roma, Italy.
Eze, who has been with Ipswich since first playing the game at nine years old, was spotted by scouts whilst playing for the England Under-15 development squad in Copenhagen in June; where he led the side in scoring and was named to the All-Tournament team.
He is heading to Italy for an expected three years, on a full scholarship, whilst keeping his options open to head to college in the US.
“It wasn’t something I had even considered prior to the opportunity being presented but I feel it’s such an exciting opportunity and experience,” Eze told Hoopsfix.
“It’s not something I want to pass up. I’ve been playing national league in England for a few years now so transferring to Europe will put me up against new teams and different players than I have previously played against.
The athletic 6’5” guard travelled to Rome in June to visit the historic club which was founded in 1938. He will complete his GCSE’s from Italy, whilst also learning to speak Italian, and suit up for their Under-18 and Under-20 junior sides.
“Veron is a supreme talent,” Ipswich Head Coach Nick Drane commented. “He has the physical attributes to play at the very highest level and this proves that. Having watched him grow as a player and as a young man since he was so young, I am incredibly proud of him.
“I’ve always said that we have everything an elite player needs right here in Ipswich – I truly believe there is nothing we can’t offer any player until they reach the age where they are heading off to University – our academy is second to none in the UK in terms of player development and the pathway we offer. That being said, there is an exception to every rule, and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t think Veron should go. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the lad and I am very proud to have been part of his journey”.
The move has also facilitated a partnership between the Italian programme and Ipswich Basketball, with Head Coach Nick Drane being invited to work with Stella Azzura in the future, with potential opportunities for teams from the Suffolk set-up to travel to Rome for training camps and tournaments.
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