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WBBL Women

WBBL 18/19 Season Preview

The Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) returns this weekend as the teams take to the court to open the 2018-19 campaign.

How did last season play out?

Sevenoaks Suns retained their Play-Off title and added the Championship crown for good measure. Cup honours went to Nottingham Wildcats, while Leicester Riders collected their maiden title in the Trophy.

Honours board:

Cat Carr – Sevenoaks Suns – MVP

Holly Winterburn – Leicester Riders – Young Player of the Year

Len Busch – Sevenoaks Suns – Coach of the Year

Have there been any changes?

The Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) unveiled Essex Rebels as its newest franchise during the offseason. Backed by the University of Essex, the team will join for the 2018-19 campaign – having impressed during their time in Basketball England’s National League.

Elsewhere, Newcastle Eagles agreed to take the city’s WBBL franchise under its wing to secure the future of top flight women’s hoops on Tyneside. Northumbria University’s decision to focus on University Sport had left the future of the Team Northumbria National League team in doubt.

What are they saying?

Lizzy Harrison – Oaklands Wolves

“The group has been together for a while now which has really helped us come together as a unit, but it will always take time for us to reach our potential on court.

“We are just focussed on getting better every day, that’s always our approach so we know our best game will be the last of the season.

“I’m definitely excited by our potential so let’s see what happens when the games begin.” Read more.

Robyn Lewis – Cardiff Met Archers

“We’ll look to be a high tempo team this season – which suits my style of play – so I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’m excited for the season to start.

“This has been the first summer in a long time that I haven’t had any national team commitments so I’m more keen than ever to get back to playing again.” Read more.

Hannah Robb – Caledonia Pride

“I’ve learned a lot from my team mates over the last two years being part of Pride.

“Now I have a big opportunity to use what I’ve learned from them and take on a bigger role within the team.

“Having had the experience with GB this summer has also helped me become more confident and comfortable being vocal.

“I’m excited to have this opportunity and I think it’ll really help me learn and develop even more.” Read more.

Tia Freeman – Oaklands Wolves

“Seeing the talent the WBBL has brought in this offseason and the increased competitiveness of all the teams was definitely a factor in me wanting to stay in the UK and develop my game domestically – rather than opt to go abroad.

“I feel like we are all ready to massively step up our game this season and as a team we will be far more competitive in WBBL, if we play to our potential.” Read more.

Loren Christie – BA London Lions

“I’m very excited for the new campaign after playing a role in both the U18 and U20 European Championships during the offseason.

“The experience has increased my confidence and I can’t wait to get back on the court.

“During the offseason, I’ve worked on choosing my moments to attack and being aggressive using my strengths.

“A lot of what I’m working on will help transition me into a versatile player, someone who can work from the perimeter as well as inside.” Read more.

Laura Shanahan – Cardiff Met Archers

“I’m really excited to get back on court this season, I’ve missed training as a team over the summer and I’m looking forward to seeing how our team is going to look through preseason and into the new campaign.

“Hopefully the core of our squad from last year and the fresh new talent that’s been brought in will fit together nicely and we’ll pick up where we left off at the end of last season.” Read more.

Beth Sarson – Oaklands Wolves

“Last season was filled with ups and downs, but I think overall we took huge steps in the right direction.

“Being able to play against such experienced players and teams allowed us to learn every time we stepped on the court – things which we will take forward with us into this upcoming season.” Read more.

Cat Lutz – Essex Rebels

“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.” Read more.

Holly Winterburn – Leicester Riders

“I can’t wait to get back on court, begin the season and play against all the new players in the league.

“There’s going to be lots of challenges along the way but I’m excited to see how it goes.

“With this being my fourth and final season in the WBBL with the Riders I hope it will be one to remember!” Read more.

How do you follow the action?

For exclusive content and behind the scenes access throughout the 2018-19 WBBL season follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Image: C.Cox

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