The upcoming WBBL season is set to be one of the most competitive campaigns to date.
As the league’s elite look to strengthen their grip on power, Essex Rebels – the league’s newest franchise – prepare for the step up from the National Basketball League.
“The jump to the WBBL has shaped our offseason preparation in a few different ways,” began Rebels’ star Cat Lutz.
“The recruitment of some really talented players was first and foremost on the club’s to do list.
”We are really excited to have those incoming girls on the team, bringing both experience and talent to the floor.
“I think our focus and intensity has definitely shifted as well. We know that it will be a big step up from the NBL so not only have our workouts increased, but the competitiveness, and focus on improvement as a whole team has increased as well.
“Since this will be our first season in the WBBL we are under no false pretences that the intensity and talent will be escalated.
“Our main goal for the season is to just be competitive and begin to really build our WBBL team and core values – to really put ourselves in a good position in future years to be one of the best teams in the league.
“The management here are also supportive of player development and I think that will go hand-in-hand with the main goal of being competitive and building for the future.
“We have a lot of young talent coming in and attending the University so being able to expose them to the WBBL and working with them throughout the year to become better individual players will only help us build the programme.”
Lutz was central to the Rebels’ success last year, earning MVP honours as the side took home the NBL Division One title – thanks, in part, to a high-octane, entertaining brand of basketball.
“Last year we were an up-tempo team that looked to push the ball whenever we could.
“I wouldn’t expect that to change this year and we have got some great guards coming in who will really focus on that continued fast pace throughout the games.
“Hopefully that means fans can expect a lot of fast paced action and some really exciting gameplay from us.
“What’s great about getting support from the University is the fact that our main fan base is the students.
“We hope that by engaging with the student body here at the University of Essex we will create a great atmosphere in our new arena and really have some enjoyable and entertaining nights that the community can also come to and enjoy.”
Image: Basma AlHashimi