Four Wolves selected for England basketball duty

PUBLISHED: 10:38 23 July 2015 | UPDATED: 10:38 23 July 2015

MVP Kyla Nelson and team captain Beth Sarson. Picture: Chris Midgey

MVP Kyla Nelson and team captain Beth Sarson. Picture: Chris Midgey

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Four Oaklands College students have been including in England Basketball’s U18 Women’s team for the Division B European Championships.

Oaklands College and England U18 coach Lee Ryan.Oaklands College and England U18 coach Lee Ryan.

Women’s National Trophy final MVP Kyra Nelson will captain the side, which will feature her Oaklands Wolves team-mates Vicky Gray, Melanie George and Paige Robinson.

Following a successful training camp at Oaklands, the squad jetted out to Slovenia for a two-game series. The European Championships start on July 30, one day after England fly out to Bucharest, Romania.

Head coach Lee Ryan, who holds the same post at Oaklands, said: “We are delighted with the squad going into this years championships; it was a deep year coming in and a very difficult selection process. The squad is a testament to the growth we have seen in performance basketball at this age group; seven of the 12 players selected were not in the equivalent U16 squad in 2013.

“We are still discovering what makes us tick and fine tuning but it’s an exciting group to work with, the trip to Slovenia will give us the chance to expand on the principals the players have already adopted.”

The squad was named after a successful weekend camp which included games against the Netherlands at Oaklands College. Spectators gathered to see England win 69-51 Saturday night and returned for a close encounter Sunday afternoon in which England edged out the Dutch 56-51. England dominated the boards and shot a high field goal percentage in the first game, led by WBBL Young Player of the Year Savannah Wilkinson who finished with a 16pt & 12reb double-double. The second game was a close contest throughout with England ultimately closing the game out from the foul line in a game that could have gone either way.

Nelson added: “There are still key areas that we need to improve upon but I am confident we will deliver on them by the time tournament starts. We have shown we can learn fast and make the necessary changes in the moment that gave us the foundation to be successful.”

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