Oaklands Wolves celebrated their first-ever WBBL success last week in the WBBL Cup and turn their focus into getting off the mark in the league. Led by rising star, Kyla Nelson - one of 16 WBBL players to receive a GB Senior call-up this week - Oaklands battled to victory over Cardiff Met Archers and host Team Northumbria this Sunday. The Wolves have made an 0-2 start in league play, but took a lot of confidence from their historic Cup victory. 'It was a really good feeling,' enthused... [read more]
Oaklands Wolves celebrated their first-ever WBBL success last week in the WBBL Cup and turn their focus into getting off the mark in the league.
Led by rising star, Kyla Nelson - one of 16 WBBL players to receive a GB Senior call-up this week - Oaklands battled to victory over Cardiff Met Archers and host Team Northumbria this Sunday.
The Wolves have made an 0-2 start in league play, but took a lot of confidence from their historic Cup victory.
'It was a really good feeling,' enthused Nelson. 'It was a confidence boost for our team as it proved that we can compete in this league even whilst being so young.
"Being a part of Oaklands WBBL history is a great privilege and now it's just about trying to repeat the success we had last week to create even more history this season.'
Northumbria form tough opposition as they look to bounce back from losing their league opener, but Nelson is looking forward to taking on Chris Bunten's side.
"Playing against the reigning WBBL [Play-Off] champions is definitely going to be a challenge, especially this early in the season,' she declared.
"I'm expecting a very disciplined and skilled team, who have some extremely talented individuals. They will make it tough for us in every possession; both offensively and defensively.
"However, I'm really excited and it's just another opportunity for us to get better and see where we are in comparison to one of the best teams in the league."
Two of the league's unbeaten sides clash on Sunday as Leicester Riders welcome Barking Abbey Crusaders with both sides full of confidence following their 2-0 starts.
Nottingham Wildcats are the third team with two wins from two in the league and they will look to maintain their winning start as they welcome newcomers, Caledonia Pride.
The Scottish franchise have a tough weekend on the road as they also travel to take on Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters less than 24 hours later.
Sevenoaks Suns are in action on Saturday when they go up against Northumbria as part of the visitors' double-header and Catherine Carr (183-F, college: Holy Family) wants her side to keep making improvements as they settle into the new season.
'We have new vets this year beside me, plus our young crew, so we are trying to become more familiar with each other and learn one another,' she explained.
'It's still early days and we have time to grow but we know we have to put in work each practice in order to get better.
'[On Saturday], we will have to be ready to play team defence and communicate on both ends of the floor.
'We will need to continue to work together and each game we will be looking forward to getting better."
Also, Manchester Mystics - who won both of their games last weekend - have the chance to make it three straight when they take on Cardiff Met Archers on Saturday - with the visitors still searching for their first season win.
Johannah Leedham's double-double lands her Player of the Week award among British players playing currently abroad: - 3 days ago
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Here is the weekly review of the top performing British players, who play currently abroad. This week's number one is an international small forward Johannah Leedham (178-87). Sheto a victory against the tenth-ranked Angers in the French LFB in Wednesday night's game.
Here is the weekly review of the top performing British players, who play currently abroad.
#1. This week's number one is an international small forward Johannah Leedham (178-87, college: Franklin Pierce, currently plays in France). She led Bourges to a 3-point victory against the tenth-ranked Angers (1-3) 65-62 in the French LFB in Wednesday night's game.
Leedham had a double-double by scoring 14 points and getting 13 rebounds in 31 minutes on the court.
Tango Bourges Basket (3-0) is placed second in the LFB.
So far her team won all three games in the Regular Season.
But this is still an early stage of the season and everything may happen.
It's Leedham's fourth year with the team.
She is ranked sixth on the list of the best rebounders in the league with 8.3rpg.
Leedham also averaged so far 10.7ppg, 3.7apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 38.9%, 3FGP: 36.4% and FT: 85.7% in three games she played so far.
She played for the British senior national team one years ago.
#2. Second place goes to an international forward Ella Clark (190-92, college: Long Beach St., currently plays in Italy). She led Umbertide to an easy victory against the league outsider Vigarano (0-3) 78-63 in the Italian Serie A1 on Sunday night.
Clark had a double-double by scoring 13 points and getting 11 rebounds. She also added 2 blocks in 36 minutes.
Pallacanestro Femminile Umbertide (1-2) is placed eighth in the Serie A1.
But the season is still in it's first stage and everything can happen.
This year Clark averages: 6.0ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.0spg, 3FGP: 25.0% in three games.
She played for the British national team in 2015.
#3. The British player who performed third best last week abroad was an international small forward Chantelle Handy (188-87, agency: Two Points, college: Marshall, currently plays in EuroCup). Handy could not help Piestanske Cajky to beat PEAC-Pecs.
She scored 9 points.
But Piestanske Cajky was defeated 78-64 on the road by the much lower-ranked PEAC-Pecs (#15).
It's Handy's first season with the team.
Handy's overall stats this year are: 7.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.5apg, 2FGP: 42.9%, 3FGP: 33.3%.
She played for the British national team one years ago.
#4. An experienced guard Rachael Vanderwal (175-83, college: Boston U., currently plays in Spain) contributed to an easy victory against one of league's weakest teams Gipuzkoa UPV (1-4) crushing them 69-47 in the Spanish LFB in Wednesday night's game.
Vanderwal recorded 7 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals in 36 minutes.
Mann Filter Zaragoza (1-4) is placed 11th in the LFB.
This year Vanderwal's overall stats are: 5.0ppg, 3.2rpg, 2.8apg and 2.0spg in five games.
She has a dual citizenship: Canadian and British.
Vanderwal used to play for the British national team
#5. International center Azania Stewart (195-89, agency: Josep and Nicolas, college: Florida, currently plays in Spain) contributed to an easy victory against the league outsider Gran Canaria (0-5) crushing them 77-42 in the Spanish LFB last Wednesday.
She recorded 6 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.
Campus Promete Logrono (2-3) is placed ninth in the LFB.
Stewart's total stats this season are: 4.2ppg and 4.2rpg.
She used to play for the British national team
The list of other players, who all have British passport but never been selected to any of British national teams:
#1. Experienced Shona Thorburn (178-G-82, college: Utah, currently plays in France) contributed to a Nantes Reze's victory against one of league's weakest teams Hainaut (1-3) 75-61 in the French LFB last Saturday.
Thorburn recorded 10 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 steals.
Nantes Reze Basket (1-0) is placed fifth in the LFB.
But the season just started, so everything may happen.
Thorburn is currently fourth on the league's list of best passers and also on the list of most steals (fourth place).
This season she averages: 8.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 5.0apg and 3.0spg.
Thorburn has a dual citizenship: Canadian and British.
#2.Louella Tomlinson (193-F-88, agency: Regeneracom Sports, college: St.Mary's, CA, currently plays in Hungary) was the major contributor in Miskolc's victory against the closely-ranked Vasas Akademia (2-1) 65-55 in the Hungarian A Division last Saturday.
Tomlinson scored 13 points in 21 minutes.
Aluinvent DVTK Miskolc (1-1) is placed seventh in the A Division.
But there are still lots of games to play and it's a long way to go.
Tomlinson is ranked second on the list of the best blockers in the league with 2.5bpg.
This year she also averages: 9.0ppg, 5.5rpg and 2.5apg in two games she played so far.
Tomlinson is another player who holds two passports: British and Australia.
#3.Lavinia Da Silva (187-C-88, currently plays in Italy) led Virtus Cagliari to a victory over the 13th-ranked Bolzano (0-2) 61-54 in the Italian Serie A2 (second division) on Saturday night.
She was MVP of the game. Da Silva scored 18 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Surgical SRL Virtus Cagliari (1-1) is placed seventh in Group A.
Da Silva has relatively good stats this season: 13.0ppg and 8.0rpg.
She has both British and Portuguese nationalities.
#4.Sarah Kershaw (178-SF-85, currently plays in Switzerland) helped Helios win their game against the closely-ranked Bellinzona (2-1) crushing them 95-48 in the Swiss LNA on Sunday night.
Kershaw had a double-double by scoring 10 points and getting the same number of rebounds. She also added 4 assists in 33 minutes.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. Helios VS Basket (3-1) is placed second in the LNA.
It was her team's third consecutive victory in a row.
Kershaw is one of the most experienced players in a team as it's her seventh year in Helios' roster.
Kershaw has relatively good stats this season: 12.5ppg, 7.5rpg, 3.5apg and 1.5spg in two games.
She also holds two passports: British and Swiss.
#5.Ejay Ofomata (180-G/F-86, college: Central State, currently plays in Italy) could not help Udine Delser (0-2) in their last game on Saturday. Despite Ofomata's good performance the 14th-placed Udine Delser (0-2) was badly defeated 62-45 at home by the leading Bologna in the Group B.
She was the top scorer with 13 points. Ofomata also added 6 rebounds.
Ofomata has relatively good stats this season: 11.5ppg, 7.0rpg and 2.5spg.
She has dual citizenship: Nigeria and British.
It's our third line-up of the new season and it includes a trio of Brits, as well as a historic first ever spot for a player from Oaklands Wolves. Georgia Jones (172-G-90, college: ORU, agency: Global Sports Plaza) (Manchester Mystics) Ever since her move back home to Manchester, the Great Britain guard has been showing her class and she picks up her second appearance in these first three weeks. Jones was the main architect of Mystics collecting a WBBL Championship victory at Wolves as t... [read more]
It's our third line-up of the new season and it includes a trio of Brits, as well as a historic first ever spot for a player from Oaklands Wolves.
Georgia Jones (172-G-90, college: ORU, agency: Global Sports Plaza) (Manchester Mystics) Ever since her move back home to Manchester, the Great Britain guard has been showing her class and she picks up her second appearance in these first three weeks. Jones was the main architect of Mystics collecting a WBBL Championship victory at Wolves as they secured a weekend win double. She scored her highest ever tally as a WBBL player after amassing a stellar 30 points, including five scores from behind the arc. For good measure, she also added four assists and three rebounds.
Annamaria Nagy (Oaklands Wolves) It was a historic weekend for one of the WBBL's newest franchises as they recorded their first ever victory as a WBBL club with a dramatic and joyous WBBL Cup success at Cardiff Met Archers. There were an array of excellent performances and it is the Hungarian guard who takes the honour of being her team's first ever weekly Al-Star. She finished the clash with 16 points, including a trio of big three-pointers as she also registered an impressive five rebounds and three assists.
Holly Winterburn (Leicester Riders) Having made a name for herself on the international stage with England at the FIBA U16 European Women's Championship Division B, Winterburn is now looking to do the same in the WBBL. Having played last season, it looks like her influence at Riders is set to grow during 2016-17. She cemented a place in our fab five thanks to 19 points in a tremendous shooting effort against Sevenoaks, which saw her make an eye-popping 80% from the floor and also hand out four assists.
Abigail Johnson (183-C-97) (Barking Abbey Crusaders) It's a debut appearance this season for the frontcourt star who missed the Betty Codona Classic, but has since come back to make some noise under the hoop for Barking. Currently celebrating her call-up to the Great Britain senior squad, Johnson helped her team to roar past Archers with a smart five of six from the floor en-route to 12 points. She also did the business on the glass with a wonderful 15 rebounds, which sealed a superb double-double.
Ashley Harris (Nottingham Wildcats) Once again underlining her status as one of the premier WBBL performers, the centre was in fine form for Wildcats as they won an intense battle against fellow title challengers and arch rivals, Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters. Harris grabbed her second spot of the campaign in our starting five by producing the best performance of the week after corralling a mammoth 34 points, including a perfect 15 of 15 from the free-throw line. She also mustered seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Off the bench - Kata Fulop (Oaklands Wolves), Jo Clayden (Manchester Mystics), Steph Gandy (Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters), Judit Fritz (Cardiff Met Archers), Tricia Oakes (Caledonia Pride), Naomi Turner (Oaklands Wolves), Cat Carr (Sevenoaks Suns).
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