Head Coach Jose Buceta has named his 23 strong long list of potential players as the 2018 Commonwealth Games edge ever closer. 9 of the WBBL’s 11 franchises have players included in the list, showcasing the strength of the domestic talent available for selection.
Following back to back league titles, Nottingham Wildcats’ Hannah Shaw and Siobhan Prior both make the cut, as does Nottingham’s latest signing Janice Monakana now her 4-year spell with the University of Toledo has come to a close.
After selection to the Molten WBBL Team of the Year in 2016/17, Manchester Mystics’ Georgia Jones has also been included. With a 17.8 points, 6.8 assist and 5.2 rebound average last regular season for the Mystics, the Manchester born guard is continuing to excel. Despite their winless start to life in the WBBL, Durham Palatinates have a pair of players available in Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby and Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee. In contrast, Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters currently sit top of the WBBL table at 6-0 and Helen Naylor and Jennifer Ashton has both been included from the Hatters.
With over 120 international caps to her name, the experience of Cardiff’s Stef Collins is sure to be an invaluable asset if chosen. The 34-year-old remains ever present in the WBBL, averaged a solid 13.3 points and 4.25 assists per game last season to continue her stellar career. Manchester’s Dominique Allen and Team Northumbria’s Chantelle Handy join Collins as former 2012 London Olympians selected onto the long list, where there are 7 in total.
The selection of so many domestic players is a tribute to the collective agreement from the WBBL and its clubs to suspend their Championship season whilst the Commonwealth Games take place. A number of European based players such as Temi Fagbenle and Johannah Leedham-Warner have been included for consideration but are not expected to be available due to club commitments.
The basketball tournament at the Commonwealth Games gets underway on 5th April 2018 with 16 teams competing across the Men’s and Women’s competitions. In total 192 players will be selected from 11 different nations and Team England’s Women begin their Commonwealth Games campaign on 6 April 2018 against Canada before further games against Mozambique and Australia.
Dominique Allen, Manchester Mystics
Jennifer Ashton, Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters
Mollie Campbell, Leicester Riders
Stefanie Collins, Cardiff Met Archers
Melita Emanuel-Car, CABC Basket (FRA)
Temi Fagbenle, Minnesota Lynx (WNBA)/CCC Polkowice (POL)
Christina Gaskin, BA London Lions
Chantelle Handy, Team Northumbria
Georgia Jones, Manchester Mystics
Shequila Joseph, Fassi Albino (ITA)
Johannah Leedham-Warner, Villeneuve D’Ascq ESB Lille Metropole (FRA)
Janice Monakana, Nottingham Wildcats
Helen Naylor, Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters
Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby, Durham Palatinates
Chantelle Pressley, Sevenoaks Suns
Siobhan Prior, Nottingham Wildcats
Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee, Durham Palatinates
Hannah Shaw, Nottingham Wildcats
Eilidh Simpson, Cardiff Met Archers
Azania Stewart, TTT Riga (LAT)
Hannah Sunley-Paisley, St-Paul Reze (FRA)
Jamila Thompson, Leicester Riders
Rachael Vanderwall, Ferrol (ESP)
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