County Upper's Alex Popova excited for move to Jacksonville College
Alex Popova has become the third County Upper player from their National Championship-winning team to secure herself a USA scholarship.
In signing the national letter of intent, the Thetford-raised player is the first female student from the school’s academy to sign with a NJCAA D1 programme – and is the 46th to have been helped by coach Darren Johnson to attain a roster spot on a US College team in the last 14 years.
Popova will be joining Jacksonville College for the 2022/23 season, with the Lady Jags playing in Region 14 – traditionally known as one of the toughest NJCAA D1 Junior College Conferences in the country.
Popova, who started her playing career at the age of 10 before joining the West Suffolk Wolves at Under-14 level, said: “I am so thankful for the patience, time, support and help the coaches, my team-mates and family have given me. I would not be on the path I am now, especially without coach Johnson.
“I am so excited to be leaving in less than 50 days to continue my basketball pathway in a whole new country.
“I have enjoyed all nine years at County Upper and am so grateful for all the help the club and academy has given me. I can’t wait to be a Jag.”
During the 2021/22 campaign Popova played for West Suffolk Wolves in NBL Division Two and was the team’s top scorer on seven occasions, averaging a total of 12.1 points per game.
Much of her development has been overseen by Johnson,who said: “I am so happy for Alex in that we have been able to find her an opportunity to continue her basketball and educational career in the USA.
“During her time with the West Suffolk Wolves Alex had multiple opportunities to join other clubs but stayed loyal and has become a great asset for us.
“Not only has she turned into such a talented player but also someone with a full of life personality.
“What’s most rewarding and gratifying for me is to have had the opportunity to coach Alex from when she first started basketball at the age of 10, all the way through her playing career with the club.”