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Nottingham Academy

Under 16 Girls 2017/18 Review

A review of the Nottingham Academy Under 16 Girls Basketball Team 2017-2018

Under 16 Girls

The Year 10 and 11 Girls have had an excellent season so far, with many of the girls playing up in the U’17 and U’19 age groups as well.  The girls have progressed through to the final 16 teams in the country with a relatively straight forward run; in their group stages they defeated Rawlins Academy 67 – 44 before taking on Hinckley Academy in a 78 – 43 victory.  Their final pool game was forfeited by the other team. 

The girls have shown real progression this year after some issues early on; the re commitment of Savanna McKenna and Tasmin Hickling has really helped the squad, with Savanna providing  excellent defence, passing and the ability to hit the open shot, while Tasmin adds an innate ability to score and much improved on the ball defence this year.  Fola Okanlawon and Barachelle Ogunlade have also boosted their commitment after a shaky start, and Barachelle’s toughness and willingness to sacrifice for her team provides the perfect complement to Fola’s athleticism and scoring ability.

The back bone of the team has remained constant this year however, as our only Year 11 Nicol Sobel, Mariam Olawoyin and relative newcomer Rhianna Barret have shown exceptional commitment throughout the year.  Rhianna should be commended as she has come from never having touched a ball to playing for both the Academy and Wildcats Club side in under a year.  Her hard work and persistence is really beginning to pay off and she should be proud of her development.  Nicol and Mariam are the leaders of the team, both tenacious defenders with the potential to lock down the best players on the other team.  Both have shown huge strides in their offence the last two years and are both potent scorers in their own right.  Mariam and Nicol have both spent the year starting for the U’19 Women’s team which speaks to their dedication and hard work.  It should be noted this team is having success despite only having one Year 11 pupil!

The girls now have already played their first playoff (knock out) game, beating Chesterton Community Sports College 101 – 8.  They are now eagerly awaiting their next playoff game and hope for another return to the Final Fours, where last year the girls were National Finalists at both U’14 and U’16 last year.