Updated: Feb 1
Will Noah Saa emerge as a prime scoring option for Queen Ethelburga’s York Knights? Well, that’s what we are here to find out.
If you had asked us in November 2020 if we could foresee the cancellation of the Academy Basketball League 2020-2021 season, we would probably say yes given that the start of the season had already been delayed twice by then due to restrictions around COVID-19. One could only imagine how disappointing it must have been for all the newcomers to academy basketball to be met with this fate.
Noah Saa, guard, has been on our radar for some time. Being from the same city we were already exposed to him. We’ve been in gyms where his training and workout sessions took place and attended some of his National League games to review his competitive nature.
It was a surprise when it was made public that he would be attending Queen Ethelburga’s York Knights who compete in the Academy Basketball League. Noah first came across Queen Ethelburga’s during a Division 3 game against Doncaster Eagles while he had a short stint at Coventry Flames. When asked about his reason for attending Queen Ethelburga’s Noah states,
“My current coach Josh Metcalf reached out to me after the game and offered me a scholarship to go to college and play for Queen Ethelburga’s in ABL and U18s premier along with playing for Doncaster Eagles in NBL Division 2 men’s. After visiting the school a few months later, what interested me the most was the quality of the facilities and the idea that I would be able to train every day on an indoor court and gym as that wasn’t possible before. Being able to play the next level of men’s basketball was also one of the main reasons for attending QE because it will benefit me to play against stronger and bigger opponents and also being able to play alongside some of the top talent for my age group.”
We have been patiently waiting to Noah has play alongside 6’3” national talent and the #6 guard in the country Elijah Walsh who already picked up an offer from NCAA D1 UTSA Roadrunners (University of Texas at San Antonio). This presents an interesting dynamic for the team as both players are flashy and complement each other’s style of play on and off ball. Noah excels on fast pace style of play. He pushes the ball up the court quickly where he takes opportunity from fast breaks. Noah credits his ability to facilitate the ball as one of his greatest strengths and continues that,
“I think my biggest impact on the court will be that I can take away attention from other players on offence if I am attacking well, which creates opportunities for my open teammates.”
Chemistry has been what works well for the two and Elijah is more than impressed with the skillset Noah brings to the team. Elijah has been excited about his debut game and adds,
“Ye! He’s a great player got’ a lot of potential. I like the way he can create for himself and for others, he’s a proper crafty guard who can shoot from the perimeter and has a nice pull up jump shot. Like, it’s quite annoying that I haven’t got to play a proper game with him […] he's someone that I love playing with in training and when we have scrimmages, we gel quite well together.”
Noah has settled quite fine with his new team and considering he now can also play in NBL Division 2 with Doncaster Eagles, that is an achievement to keep him motivated. Noah shares that,
“The team and I are all like family as we’re together for so much of our time, which allows us to be able to know how to help each other as we understand one another personally. What I’m most excited about for my debut game is seeing how the work done in our training session and scrimmages will translate to real game situations as we have been playing against each other for a while now, so it will be interesting to see how we play together against other competition.”
Beyond basketball Noah credits the difference in other academies compared to Queen Ethelburag’s Collegiate is its education. He believes the support is a lot wider.
Now, to answer our posed question. Will Noah Saa emerge as a prime scoring option for Queen Ethelburga’s York Knights? As of now it's hard to detail. Noah has not played a national competitive game since March of 2020 because of the pandemic and imposed lock down of the sport by Basketball England. Though, what we do know is that he is an emerging talent to watch with an impressive upside. His game can easily be assessed inside the arc. Though, what separates the top guards is the ability to extend their games beyond the arc and do so consistently. Elijah Walsh is a great example and leader for him to help orchestrate the development of his game.
We’re excited to see what he does once the floor is opens.