Youth Girls 2018-19 Season
Warm greetings everybody and welcome to the new season!
Last year, we started with 12 players and we finished with 20 almost entirely different players.
We started with 3 coaches and finished with 4 different ones. Just like starting from fresh!
We would all like to build on last season’s success, so this season will be a period of growth on all fronts.
Alex BP has now moved across to the Boys section and Ali Strong has joined us as an assistant coach to help coaches Costa, Matt and Adrien on Wednesdays.
More good news as Russell Fernandez has joined us as the U12s team manager. Emma Hilling will be our U14s and U13s TM and Costas will look after the U16s for now.
We will continue with the Youth Wednesday sessions at SJB school as they have been very popular (we get more than 25 players and 4 coaches every week consistently) and is the most heart-warming sight: young people, aged 7 to 18, enjoying the sport of basketball in very agreeable and safe surroundings.
We have extended the hours (for the Girls only) to 8.30pm.
Overall, it was very rewarding witnessing the huge improvement (both technically and behaviourally) most of our players made during the season and the fact that we are going into the new season with a total of 27 players (and growing!) on our books is very promising indeed. We will be asking you very soon to register for the new season so that we can align our resources accordingly.
In terms of competitions, we are looking to participate in the Surrey and Bracknell leagues as well as in the All-Girls Tournaments in Woking (supported by the Surrey Basketball Association) and in as many age groups as we can muster. Please speak with your team manager or coach for more details.
The Saturday team sessions will still be held at Woking High school but for two hours only (10:30-12:30).
In addition, we have reduced the fees slightly for this season to entice more girls to experiment and fall in love with basketball.
We have all the DBS-certified coaches and TMs we need, so be assured that your daughters are safe with us!
Also, rest assured that we do not hold any personal data (parents or players) on a website or anywhere else for longer than is necessary to conduct our business as a club. Action photos or videos of participating players and supporters may well be displayed on our websites but not without your permission.
We have one table official but we need more volunteers (a referee, statisticians, more TOs) to give their time for their daughters and the club. Please call me, send me an email, a text or a smoke signal – anything!
However, the overriding factor will be the players’ regular attendance at practice sessions and at games. Basketball is a team sport and all individual players have a responsibility to their team.
This concept must be understood at all levels.
If you or your daughter cannot buy into this concept, it might be best to let us know from the very start as we, in turn, cannot commit to league participation fees and court bookings if the players’ commitment is patchy.
We, the team of volunteers, are very excited at the prospect of providing our young girls with the opportunity to flourish both as individuals and as team players in the sport they love.
As always, we also look forward to an extremely important element: the parents’ support and cooperation. So, we are always happy to listen to any suggestions but kindly bear in mind that, in the Google spirit of management, all suggestions will be read and considered but not all will necessarily be implemented.
Let’s have ourselves a memorable season!
Yours in basketball,
Blackhawks Girls – Cobras 1 38-37
Bracknell u14 League, Friday 15 Dec 2017
Where do I begin?!
Five girls turn up for the designated 8.30pm pre-game meeting at Wellington College and with minutes to spare, little Aaliyah turns up to provide us with that valuable, as it turned out, substitution.
Nora, Anthonia, Amelia, Alanagh and Aleena took to the floor and despite first blood going to the Cobras, Amelia responded with a move under the basket and scored.
The Cobras scored again but Alanagh and Nora combined beautifully off the give-and-go to draw level.
And so it went all the way to the end of Q1 but our Girls prevailed to finish the quarter 15-11 up with 6 points coming from Amelia who seemed to be in the mood for scoring.
Q2 was a disaster. We had to pull Anthonia off as she got into foul trouble early on and this may have upset our rhythm and our focus. The discipline of Q1 evaporated and turnovers caused havoc that resulted in a 0-10 score.
Half time score: 15-21
The Girls realised that something went wrong in Q2 and were keen to put things right. Amelia got us going again with another great move under the basket and followed up with two more baskets to get us back in the game.
Anthonia and Nora combined well before the Cobras came back with a basket of their own to make the score level.
Another time-out to rest the players.
Back on the court and Nora combines with Aleena for the latter to score magnificently.
It is very difficult to single out any one of the girls but Nora must have run a couple of miles in this quarter alone and putting in the effort that 8 steels require!
We finished Q3 13-8 up bringing the score to 28-29 after conceding a basket in the dying moments of the quarter.
At the break, we found out that Amelia was burning up and ready to be sick, be it from a cold or be it from the relentless pace of the game, so we had to rest her. What a trooper.
And here is the thing. Had Aaliyah not turned up, we would have had to play with four – four! – players until Amelia recovered, if at all.
Still, our Blackhawks steeled themselves and carried on. Time-outs were simply used to rest the players as there was not much wrong to put right other than not rushing the passes thus avoiding costly turnovers.
Little Aaliyah was thrown into the cauldron of a one-point game and all the pressure that such circumstances entail. Well she stood her ground and helped the incredible four other players to hold the fort until Amelia could come back on. Despite best efforts we found ourselves down by five points.
The Paracetamol seemed to do its magic and Amelia announced she was ready to play. Aleena scored a wonderful deep-two shot, then she combined with Nora once again and Nora scored. The Cobras responded but Nora and Aleena were unstoppable. Another give-and-go and Nora scored. Once again the Cobras replied but once again Aleena and Nora combined to keep us within one point.
Heroic Amelia scored another great basket and the lethal duo (Nora and Aleena) combined for the n’th time to give Aleena the opportunity to score.
But we were still one point down and the time was running out.
Not for the first time, Alanagh took matters into her own hands and went up for the shot but the ball danced agonisingly around the ring and dropped out. The Cobras went into the counter-attack but hit the buffers as our brave girls screamed back to defend (don’t ask me how they found the energy) and thwarted their layup. Nora popped out of the scrum with the defensive rebound and it was our turn to attack with 49 seconds on the clock. After some frantic play, Aleena emerged with the ball on the left side and drained her shot to put us one point ahead with 6.8 seconds to go. With the ball in our opponents’ hands, Diego, the Cobras coach, called a time-out in the hope he would run a play to give his excellent no.9 a chance to win the game for them.
All our girls had to do was stick to their designated players like glue, win the ball back and hold it until the buzzer goes. Well, guess what. That was exactly what they did to the jubilation of everyone associated with the Blackhawks!
What an evening for our brave, BRAVE girls.
Our MVP was Amelia, who despite being ill, played the game of her life scoring 14 points. Aleena and Nora must have worn their shoes to the soles of their feet, while Anthonia and Alanagh did not stop running, cutting, defending, rebounding and helping in any way they could. We are eternally grateful to little Aaliyah and her parents who turned up to save the day.
Another one-point win for our Girls who are now 3-and-4 (3 wins 4 losses) and climbing up the table!
Blackhawks: Aleena(12), Nora(7), Amelia(14), Alanagh(1), Anthonia(4), Aaliyah.
Coach: Costas Rakitzis