Shauna Harrison, 15, makes her mark in Sheffield Hatters’ triumph

Fifteen-year-old Shauna Harrison with  Hatters star Steph Gandy and  the WBBL Trophy.
Fifteen-year-old Shauna Harrison with Hatters star Steph Gandy and the WBBL Trophy.
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A girl who promises to be a Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters’ stars of the future has spoken of her delight at being part of the club’s first trophy success of the season.

Shauna Harrison scored six points as Hatters retained the Women’s British Basketball League Trophy by beating Barking Abbey Crusaders 79- 45 in the final in Birmingham.

And Shauna is still only 15 and the youngest person on the first team scene.

She joined Hatters as a seven-year-old in February 2008 and made her first team debut at the WBBL opening weekend in Loughborough when Hatters beat Cardiff Met Archers 85-47 in October.

Shauna also plays for the Under-18s and Under-16s, having scored more than 160 points for the U16s already this season.

In front of 5,000 fans in the WBBL Trophy final the Handsworth Grange Community Sports College student scored two points for a Euro Step to basket, two for a long-distance shot and two from the free throw line.

Shauna, who can play point guard, guard or forward, said of the big day at the Barclaycard Arena: “It felt amazing even just sitting on the side of the court waiting to go on.

“The atmosphere was great and when I was playing alongside brilliant players such as Helen Naylor, Steph Gandy, Julie Page and Ellis Clayton it made the whole experience even better.

“So winning the trophy made it all the more memorable.”

Shauna’s exploits with Hatters have already attracted the attention of the England selectors.

She played for England Under-15 in the Copenhagen invitation tournament last June, playing five times against Norway, Finland, Sweden twice and Denmark.

Shauna aims to attend Myerscough College for Basketball after year 11 and university to study marketing and advertising in business studies.

She said team mates had been a big help to her Hatters career but named Loraine Gayle, club founder and legend Betty Codona and coach Vanessa Ellis as her big influence.

Shauna did not make the team as Hatters came back down to earth the week after the Trophy triumph with defeat against unbeaten WBBL leaders Nottingham Wildcats, this second loss of the season leaving the club with a tough test to retain the league title.

But she said: “ I still think we can learn from the loss and are strong enough to bounce back and go on and retain the title.”

Hatters got back to winning ways with a 70-58 win at Leicester Riders last Saturday.

Great Britain wing Helen Naylor top scored with Steph Gandy adding 15 and Baendu Lowenthal 13.

This earned Naylor a second appearance in three weeks in the WBBL team of the month, alonside Lowenthal, in the TOM for the fourth time this season after finishing just one rebound shy of a double-double.

Hatters are away again this Sunday at Brixton Topcats.