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Derby’s Hamilton and CoLA’s Simona Henshaw nab MIP awards

As a development league, the WEABL is always keying in on players who are consistently raising their game, both on and off the court. The Most Improved Player award focuses on exactly that, with two worthy winners now selected for 2019/20.

Derby’s Kenny Hamilton has been in fine form throughout the Trailblazers debut campaign, setting a number of single season records with her play at both ends of the court. Appearing in the league’s top four for efficiency (21.7), rebounds (15.4rpg), assists (5.9apg) and steals (5.3spg), Hamilton was integral to Derby’s efforts this year.

“Joining Derby last year has been the best decision I have made for my basketball, it has helped me improve massively,” said Hamilton.

“Playing with the WNBL Division Two Women’s team, who always push me to get the best out of me and people like WEABL coach Paul Bowen work us hard to play to the best of our ability. Also, coach Kyle Henderson committed a lot of his own time towards my progress and now I can see that all the hard work I’ve been putting in has paid off.

“I’d like to also thank my teammates, we all work hard and we’ve all gotten better over the season, we put a lot of hard work in but it’s also really enjoyable as we are friends as well as teammates.”

“It’s a delight to see Kenny win this award, she works incredible hard in all aspects of academy life, on the court and in the classroom,” added coach Bowen.

“She’s improved so much as a result of her dedication, it’s been a delight coaching her the last two years.”

Our Southern Conference MIP is City of London Academy’s Simona Henshaw. After a solid individual season and helping CoLA to a 7-3 record, good for #3 seed in the South, Henshaw has continually displayed her increasing ability as the season has worn on.

A sharpshooter from beyond the arc, Henshaw can help power her side’s offence with a WEABL 3rd best 38.1% conversion rate from deep whilst also grabbing 5.2rpg and scoring 11.4ppg to add into the mix as well.

“I’m really pleased to receive this reward, to be acknowledged by coaches from other teams is a blessing. I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me, it’s a testament to many hours in the gym,” said Henshaw.

“This year I set myself a goal to work as hard as I possibly can to be able to move position, that’s happened and I’m enjoying the results.

“I’d like to thank my coaches for guiding and believing in me, my teammates for always trusting me and my workout partner, Kavell Hawes. We never let each other take a day off whether we feel like it or not, we have to get better every day no matter what.”

The WEABL awards week continues tomorrow with Coach of the Year, they’ll go live at 10:00 am as we continue to publish awards between now and the league MVP announcements on Friday.

The WEABL finals take place next Wednesday at the University of Essex, with entry free for all spectators.