US basketball import Corey Easley.
US basketball import Corey Easley. Rob Williams

US import a real Force for Ipswich

AMERICAN basketball giant Corey Easley, who has come to the city chasing love and a new career, is Ipswich’s newest and arguably tallest resident.

Easley, who stands an imposing 208cm or 6’10”, was recruited by the Ipswich Force basketball team who were desperate for a star import after two dismal seasons in the Queensland Basketball League.

Easley arrived in Ipswich last week after flying out with his long-term Australian girlfriend from his home state of Minnesota.

He was diplomatic on his initial impressions of Ipswich.

“It’s a lot different to home,” Easley said.

“It’s nice, but a lot smaller and more regional to what I’m used to.

“A month ago I was waking up to below zero temperatures so there’s a big difference to adjust to.

Easley is the first American import Ipswich has signed for 15 years and he has visited several schools during the past week spreading the basketball gospel.

While Easley does not mind Australia’s culinary culture, he prefers the Mexican burritos offered by America’s giant fast food chain Taco Bell.

“I’m not that fussed on the food here, there’s just different tastes and I miss Taco Bell a lot,” he said.

“I don’t know why they don’t have Taco Bell here.”

The softly spoken Easley competed in America’s premier college basketball tournament, the NCAA championships, before playing in Germany and Canada.

In 2008 he was recruited by a Perth basketball club to play in the West Australian State League, where he met his current girlfriend.

She is the reason he returned to Australia after the pair spent the off-season back in Minnesota.

“I always planned on coming back to Australia because of my girlfriend,” Easley said.

“I want to see your version of Disney World on the Gold Coast, dream something or other.”