Top recognition for high-flying Sheffield Hatters

Jen Ashton: GB call for Hatters newcomer
Jen Ashton: GB call for Hatters newcomer
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After a trophy-less season in 2016-17 things are looking up for Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters.

They top the Women’s British Basketball League after tipping off with three straight victories.

Sheffield Hatters' Gianna Woods has made the  WBBL's All Star 5 twice already this season

Sheffield Hatters' Gianna Woods has made the WBBL's All Star 5 twice already this season

One of their new players has been named in the Great Britain squad.

And another new girl has made the league’s All Star Five twice in the first three matches.

Hatters followed up their first week win over new team Durham Palatinates with a weekend double last week.

On Saturday they pulled off a 80-71 road win over Manchester Mystics when Gianna Woods followed up her All-Star Five worthy display from Week 1 with 21 points, 12 rebounds and three assists in another fine display with Helen Naylor scoring all of her 15 points in the first half.

Deborah Rodriguez in actiion for Sheffield Hatters in the 80-71 win at Manchester Mystics

Deborah Rodriguez in actiion for Sheffield Hatters in the 80-71 win at Manchester Mystics

Veteran Steph Gandy scored 17.

And on Sunday they had a convincing 84-62 home win over BA London Lions as Gandy again showed her class finishing with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting having netted 12 in the first quarter.

Gandy’s performance was recognised by being chosen in the All Star Five along with Woods, making her second appearance.

And the day after the WBBL announced its top five, Great Britain called up Jen Ashton to their squad for the start of next month’s FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2019 Qualifiers.

Ashton joined Hatters from America at the end of the summer. Born in Blackpool, but moving to the States with her parents when she was five, she has dual nationality.

She came home with a place in the GB squad one of her ambitions. And she achieved that in double quick time.

Jen said: “The opportunity to play for GB has been a dream of mine since I first picked up a basketball.

“It’s the motivation I’ve given myself in all my training, especially these last few years. I’m excited to be able to train with the squad in November and, hopefully, earn a spot on the final roster.

“The Hatters team is great. We’re doing well so far, and with so many new faces, we have nothing but endless potential moving forward. We could really do something special this season for our club.”