WBBL: Oaklands Wolves show intent with summer signings

Oaklands Wolves' Megan Pritchard. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO

Oaklands Wolves' Megan Pritchard. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO - Credit: Archant

The Women’s British Basketball League side finished six days of signing announcements with a NCAA graduate and a German international.

Coupled with the British youngsters that were at the core of the side that just missed out on the play-offs last year, and Australian Meg Pritchard, another returning to the Oaklands College-based club, the Wolves believe they can go places this year.

The jewel in the crown of the new players is Roya Rustamzada.

The versatile forward was one of the stars of last year’s graduating NCAA class, where she finished her monumental career at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, by leading the team in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals.

“This is a statement of the aspirations of our club,” enthused Ryan.

“It’s testament to everyone at Oaklands that we can pull off a signing like this so early on in our journey as a club.

“It’s also testament to Roya who throughout her career has shown faith in good people and programs.

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“We started talking early on this year and our commitment paid off.”

The Californian native said: “It’s always been a dream of mine to play basketball in Europe and this opportunity to play in the WBBL has opened that door for me.

“I am grateful to Oaklands and coach Ryan, who has supported me through the process, and I will contribute the best I can for them.

German International Anneke Schlueter also adds to the experience of the team, having represented both the U16 and U18 German teams before making the move to the US for college.

She will continue her education by completing a masters at the University of Hertfordshire.

She said: “It was important to continue my studies whilst looking for a new basketball challenge and Oaklands offered me the perfect combination of both and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.”

The returning players include Pritchard, Lizzy Harrison, Lauren Milligan and Beth Sarson.

Oaklands start the new season on September 29 away to London Lions with their first game at home to Sevenoaks in October.