Katie Cox combining talents in basketball and football - Hoopsfix.com

Katie Cox combining talents in basketball and football

Katie Cox is a special talent. The 17-year-old is not only an emerging prospect within basketball, but also has a bright future in football having represented her country in both sports.

Last month, it was basketball with England’s Under-18s in the Four Nations Tournament and right now it’s football as Cox has been in Estonia as part of England’s Under-17 squad competing in the European Championships.

Cox is set to be the youngest participant in this year’s Under-19 Women’s game at the Hoopsfix All-Star Classic on Sunday – just a few days on from the semi-finals, which reflects a strong commitment to both passions.

“There’s huge crossover between the two sports, for me, and I absolutely adore both,” enthused Cox, in an interview with Hoopsfix earlier this month. “I wouldn’t be the football player I am without basketball and I wouldn’t be the basketball player I am without football.”

They say talent doesn’t mean much without hard work and there’s no doubting the dedication that Cox has for both sports with a well-structured routine aimed to nurture her development.

This is alongside studies – and coaching fellow students as Head of Basketball – at school, as the emerging starlet combined playing time in the WBBL at Sevenoaks Suns as well as being part of Chelsea’s football academy.

On one hand, an all-action guard-forward trying to make things happen on the basketball court and on the other, a goalkeeper trying to prevent things happening on the football pitch. It’s a position that runs in the family, too, with older brother Matt a goalkeeper on the books at Premier League side Brentford FC, and a junior European Championship winner with England in 2022.

“I always used to play with him in the garden, both football and basketball,” recalls the younger sibling. “He is my main inspiration, especially after winning the Under-19 Euros, and is someone I always really look up to.

“In basketball, there are players like Holly Winterburn and Janice [Monakana] that I look up to because they can create things, and that’s something I’ve been working on over the years.”

Cox has already been playing basketball for a decade having also played rugby union at county level and earned a black belt in karate. The former Richmond Knights prospect captained GB Under-16s last summer with averages of 10.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.7 blocks per game.

During last summer’s inaugural Pro-Am, Cox featured for Team Diamond with an early taste of going up against older opposition ahead of a move to one of the WBBL’s most successful sides in Sevenoaks Suns.

There were encouraging glimpses of the talent including a season-high mark of 21 points against Oaklands Wolves early in the campaign, but the chance to learn was perhaps even more important than the playing time.

“Being at the Suns has been a great opportunity for me,” said Cox. “Having the chance to develop both on and off the court, being around the women and learning from players like Renee [Busch] and AB [Araion Bradshaw] with their leadership skills has really pushed me forward.

“I’ve enjoyed trying to rise to the challenges of the WBBL. It’s a whole other game, a bigger intensity and it’s made me mature even quicker. You have to stay focused and the main thing I’ve gained is experience.”

Upon her return from England Under-17 duty, Cox will quickly turn attention back to basketball ahead of the Hoopsfix All-Star Classic and possible selection with GB at junior level again later this summer.

Katie Cox in the crowd at the 2022 edition of the Hoopsfix All-Star Classic.

Cox is suiting up for Team Black in this year’s edition having watched on from the stands at Crystal Palace 12 months ago as an aspiring future participant.

“I’m really grateful for being selected,” she added. “It’s a great opportunity to play with and against some of the best players in the UK.

“A couple of days before [being selected] I’d booked tickets to come and watch again so it was a nice surprise to be able to play.

“Last year I was in the stands watching, so I knew it was something I wanted to do and had my mind on. The atmosphere that it creates should be amazing.”

Another chance to showcase undoubted talent beckons, and while big decisions may come later down the line, Cox is staying in the moment and not getting carried away with any future plans.

“There’s so many different options I could go through,” concluded Cox. “My journey has been so different so far, I’m not sure where it will go at this point.

“Over the next year, at least, I want to definitely carry on football and basketball. I’m yet to set a plan in stone.”

Whatever happens, Cox is definitely one to watch.

The Under-19 Women’s game will be streamed live on Sunday 28th May at a soldout Crystal Palace.

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