17 year old Ira is a committed and successful basketball player who has excelled in the sport despite challenges at home. His plan was to participate in a high-level supported training programme and ultimately to play competitively in Florida and attend high school and college in the USA.

We awarded Ira £5,000 over 2 years to pay for his training and coaching expenses, his travel costs and his participation in American tournaments.

Ira said: “Although the news of the grant was great and a time for celebration, hard work was what got me it, so I had to bang out 20 press-ups!”

His mum Karen said: “When I read the email from the Starr Trust, I was really shocked and surprised, it had been a while since the application was submitted and you just assume that it has been awarded to someone else. I ran up stairs to let Ira read it and in true Ira style he celebrated by doing 20 press-ups. As a family the Award will make a big difference and it will allow Ira to work towards his goal of attending high school and college in America to play basketball. Thank you all so much and for believing in Ira.”

Update November 2016

Ira was interviewed about basketball, the Starr Trust and his personal journey in November’s Etc Magazine.

Ira said “It made me ecstatic. Every time I set foot on the court with just me, a ball and the hoop my smile would not disappear, nothing else mattered. Basketball opened a huge number of doors for me, introduced me to incredible personalities and people, and moulded my identity as if it was another parent.

Read the full interview here.

Update April 2016

Ira updates us on his progress:

Update June 2015

Ira was 15 when he was awarded a Starr Trust Award to pay for two years basketball training, travel costs and his participation in American tournaments.
Two years on and Ira has been working and training hard this year, and has almost finished his GCSE’s. He has taken 23 exams! He has been accepted to John Madjeski Academy in Reading next year - this is a specialist basketball academy with England Basketball ASSE funding. He will complete his A levels here and live away from home.
He has just made the South East England under 17s squad and is about to head out to a basketball camp in the USA and has a trial for a high school in Florida.

Update Summer 2014

Our Champion Ira is the star of our brand new promotional video (below), made by Film House Shoreham. Ira and his family were very gracious about taking part in the filming and we are delighted to be able to share his amazing story with our supporters and friends.

With the help of his Edward Starr Award, Ira has now jetted off to Eckerd College in Florida with his basketball team who will be playing in the under 18s tournament there and Ira will also attend a prestigious individual camp at the college. We can’t wait to hear all about his adventures upon his return in August.