Soaraway Sheffield Hatters face their match of the season to date tomorrow when they host old rivals Nottingham Wildcats.
In a match sponsored by Burrows Toyota Car dealership of Doncaster, the Westfield Health Hatters bid to stretch their unbeaten five- match start in the Women’s British Basketball League.
And ahead of the match, Hatters’ veteran Great Britain forward Helen Naylor sounded a warning about the “deadly” Hatters to Wildcats and the rest of the League.
Hatters suffered a rare trophy-less year last term, and the 30-year-old from Doncaster said: “We have had a good start to the season and some good results but probably more exciting than that is that we haven’t yet played our best individual or team basketball, so there is much more to come from us.
“We are putting ourselves in a good position to contend for some silverware if we continue to work hard and improve.
“We have a good balance of players this year and some very talented individuals so connecting as a team and improving upon our great start is key, we can’t lose focus.
Naylor added: “I have been with Hatters 10 years now and am really enjoying this season and playing with the girls, and think we could go far and hopefully bring home some trophies.
“Personally I just want to keep improving and helping the team in any way I can and have good consistent performances every week to help us win games.”
Naylor was named in the WBBL weekly All Star Five after scoring 24 points in last Sunday’s massive 93-52 win at Durham Palatinates from a fine 60% shooting effort, also adding five steals, four rebounds and three assists.
She added: “It was nice to make team of the week but the great thing about Hatters is we have a number of players who can lead and that makes us even more deadly.”
Club legend, founder and chairperson Betty Codona said of the Wildcats clash: “It will, if it follows past encounters in the WBBL, be an exciting, hard-fought game. We and Wildcats go back a lot of years, know much about each other and respect the hard work we have each put into women’s basketball.”
* Other top Hatters scorers last week were Woods 14, Velkey 14, and Lewis 12 . Hatters lead the table with five wins from five. Also unbeaten are Sevenoaks Suns and Leicester Riders, who have played four and three matches respectively.
* Hatters are looking for a manager for the WBBL team and anyone interested can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Hatters would like to thank Burrows Toyota of Doncaster for their sponsorship of tomorrow’s game which tips off at 4pm at All Saints Sports Centre, Sheffield. The club also thank Burrows for repairing their team van - “ a lifesaver,” said Naylor.