Talented athlete earns scholarship to the sunshine state

Photo caption: Former Gateshead College Student Joe Drady is set for an American scholarship thanks to help from his college coach Ian Macleod 

A talented young basketball player is off to the sunshine state after gaining a prestigious sports scholarship.

Thanks to his outstanding talent, Joe Drady has been awarded a sports scholarship programme in Jacksonville, Florida.

From this September, the former Gateshead College student will study at Arlington Country Day School while playing for its basketball team, the ACD Apaches.

Joe, who is 18 and from Rowlands Gill, said, “I can’t wait to get to America and start playing with a great team at a fantastic school which is widely recognised for its successful boys’ basketball programme. It’s an amazing opportunity for me.

“I don’t think I would have gained a place without the support of Gateshead College, especially head coach Ian Macleod. He helps us to be the best we can with specific training and advice for each person, encouraging us to develop individually and as a team.

“Ian sent across videos of me playing to a number of schools in America, helping me to gain this incredible opportunity which has the potential to open a lot of doors for me and my basketball career.”

The scholarship at Arlington Country Day School will include the study of American High School SAT’s and ACT’s in maths, English and science. Joe then hopes to be accepted on to a further basketball scholarship with an American college.

Joe, who started his career playing for the Newcastle East Griffins at a young age, was awarded the scholarship following an outstanding season with Gateshead College’s Basketball Academy, which is run in partnership with the Newcastle Eagles. The keen athlete also impressed the school thanks to his academic achievements with Gateshead College, which include triple distinction star results in Software Development.

Students who join the college’s basketball academy can benefit from unrivalled training with experienced players and coaches thanks to its partnership with the Newcastle Eagles club. Professionals from the basketball industry are on hand to provide young athletes with the skills and knowledge they need to secure success in their basketball careers.

Ian Macleod, who is head coach for Gateshead College and the Newcastle Eagles, said: “Joe has been a great player for us, providing leadership and consistent performances. His ability to score and get his team mates involved will serve him well in the states.

“The opportunity to travel to Florida and play in a team which has developed some of the leading basketball talent in America is a fantastic opportunity. Joe truly deserves this as he has put in a lot of hard work and determination to get where he is today, and I look forward to seeing how his career develops.”

The ACD apache team has guided former team members to success on the National Collegiate Athletic Associate level and professionally. ACD alumni have also gone on to be selected as Gatorade Players of the Year, a national award aimed at recognising America’s best sporting talent, with some players going on the train with NBA teams. 

Gateshead College’s Basketball Academy competes in the Basketball England Academy Basketball League, where student-athletes can pursue their sporting passion alongside their studies. The academy is open to all Gateshead College students studying any full time programme and offers around nine hours of training per week, as well as opportunities to compete in games across the country.

Gateshead College has nine sports academies, including athletics, basketball, cricket, golf, rugby, boxing, netball, men’s football and women’s football.

Applications are still open for September 2016. For more information please contact 0191 490 2246 or email start@gateshead.ac.uk or visit www.gateshead.ac.uk