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Talented teens hopes and glory

PUBLISHED: 11:53 12 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:42 06 July 2010

TWO talented teenagers from Lowestoft were celebrating national successes once more this week in their respective sports.

Carlton Colville youngster Joel Keeble has just one more hurdle to overcome in dunking his way to the top in the basketball stakes, after being named in a 16-strong squad - which has already been whittled down from 26 - and will eventually be cut to 12 players in the U16 men's basketball team.

TWO talented teenagers from Lowestoft were celebrating national successes once more this week in their respective sports.

Carlton Colville youngster Joel Keeble has just one more hurdle to overcome in dunking his way to the top in the basketball stakes, after being named in a 16-strong squad - which has already been whittled down from 26 - and will eventually be cut to 12 players in the U16 men's basketball team.

The final chosen 12 will then head to Estonia for the FIBA Europe U16 European Championships later this year - and the 15-year-old Sir John Leman pupil is in a prime position to deliver.

“He seems to be doing very well,” his proud father Jerry said. “He's already played for England four times in friendly matches now and three weeks ago the final 16 were pitted in an A squad versus b squad showdown - and Joel played at number five for England A.” The 6ft 5in attacker, who captains the Ipswich Tomcats U16 side and also plays for Beccles Bombers' men's team, is now hoping to make the final cut in the next few weeks.

“Joel is an inspiration to others, not only is he a very talented young athlete but is a true ambassador for the sport of basketball,” Claire Henwood, Waveney District Council's service manager for sports & leisure development, told The Journal. “His achievement is even more impressive, given the competitive nature of basketball and for that he must be congratulated. We are very proud to have such a fine young man in the district and we wish Joel every success for 2010.”

Equally shining on the national stage, pool hotshot Kingsley Peck was this week celebrating a European success.

Playing for England's junior team at the 13th European 8 ball pool championships in Daventry recently, the tournament brought together the very best pool players from all over Europe.

Representing the England junior team for the very first time, England were drawn against Team Wales first up and Peck was selected by the England manager to play frame three, which he won with some superb tactically controlled positional play. He then went to win a second frame with a fantastically worked out total clearance from the break, but Wales hit back to win 11-4.

However this turned out to be the only defeat England would suffer throughout the entire week-long championships.

England bounced back to secure double 22-8 wins over both Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands to set up a grand final showdown against team Wales.

Predicted to be a close match, this was a straight race to eight frames and Kirkley High School pupil peck was again picked to play frame three. He showed no signs of any nerves with some very clinical positional play to win the frame with some brilliant potting and give England a 3-1 lead.

The Lowestoft teenager then went on to win a further frame and eventually England were crowned as European champions with an 8-3 win.

With confidence now high for Team England's World Championships appearance later this year, Peck - who plays local league pool for the Ole Frank - was presented with a European Winners Cup at the presentation dinner and banquet night.

“I am really proud to play for England and I am very happy that we came away as European champions,” he said.

The England Junior Team also has further forthcoming international tournaments in Blackpool, Guernsey and Malta this year and proud father Keith Peck told The Journal: “It doesn't get any bigger than playing and representing your country in any sport, and to win European honours is a great achievement not only for himself but also the town, as well as Suffolk.”

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