By Leslie from WBBIF
Far away from home – Azania Stewart continues to represent British Basketball
The season has already started for GB international Azania Stewart in Australia where she is playing for the Adelaide Lighting.
Last weekend all the teams from the WNBL took part in a pre-season opener in Melbourne, called the WNBL Spring Shield.
Stewart’s team managed one victory from the three games they played. Stewart had a starting role and gained valuable minutes.
In the Lightning’s opening game, a 95-43 rout over Victoria Select, Stewart had 4 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks on 2/3 shooting, in 21 minutes.
Her best game came on Day 2 in a 79-72 loss to Melbourne, finishing with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in 21 minutes.
On the final day, Adelaide suffered a heavy 71-47 loss to Bendigo Spirit, Stewart had 4 points, 1 assist and 1 block in 15 minutes.
The WNBL (The Women’s National Basketball League) is the number one league in Australia for women’s basketball with the season running from October to March.
Azania Stewart‘s international career started way back in 2004 with England U16, before being a member of the U16 squad that finished 4th in 2005. She then went off to the USA where she completed her high school education at Notre Dame Academy (Middleburg, Va.), which she attended for her three years, averaging 13.8 points per game, 9.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and shooting 73 percent from the floor in her Senior year.
She enrolled at the University of Florida in 2008. Although having a kidney removed, she was a key member of her College basketball team, the Gators. Stewart ended her career in 2012 at the Big Dance by having to guard Brittney Griner.
We did not see Stewart again in a youth jersey for the home nations; it wasn’t until the 2009 World Student Games with the GB Futures she made her return. In 2010 she moved into the senior team, where she has remained a permanent feature with appearances at EuroBasket Women 2011, Olympic Games 2012 and EuroBasket Women 2013.
Stewart, affectionately known as “Big Z” in Florida, is already a bit of a globetrotter; in her first season out of college (2012-13), she played in Spain, England and Hungary.
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Image Credit: GB Basketball
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