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Summer Showcase – week 1 preview

WEABL basketball is back, with Basketball England’s new seven-week competition set to get under way tomorrow. The Summer Showcase will focus on player development and won’t crown an overall team winner upon completion, instead aiming to stage as many games as possible in a safe and responsible environment, given the current COVID climate. Week 1 begins with three WEABL games split between the North and South, with one game tomorrow and two this weekend. North Pool Derby Trailblazers Academy v Charnwood College There’s an all-Midlands clash on Sunday at 4:30 as Charnwood head to Derby. Derby’s Kenny Hamilton secured a number of awards in 2019/20, including All-Conference first team honours plus a Defensive Player of the Year nod. It’s not hard to see why, and the talented forward returns with the likes of Neve Marvill and Megan Lovatt for what should be a strong Trailblazers’ roster. Charnwood don’t lack star power either, with Katie Januszweska, Molly James and a number of others turning out this season for D1W side Loughborough Riders, helping the team to a strong 11-5 record in the process. View the Derby Trailblazers Academy roster View the Charnwood College Riders roster Nottingham Academy Wildcats v The Sheffield College 2019/20 North Conference MVP Abbey Whitehouse is included in Sheffield’s team for the Summer Showcase, fresh off a solid run with WNBL side Nottingham Trent University. Whitehouse is joined by last year’s All-Conference second team selection Zoe Kateregga (19.7PPG, 14.1RPG, 19.8EFF) to form what should be a solid one-two punch for the Yorkshire side. Nottingham made the playoffs a year ago but were bounced 54-50 in the opening round by eventual co-champions City of London Academy. View the Nottingham Academy Wildcats roster View the Sheffield College roster

Copleston’s Cameron Taylor-Willis (Nick Winter)

South Pool Copleston High School v Itchen College Copleston head into this summer’s competition with one of the strongest rosters in the WEABL, though like most teams, it’s likely the Suffolk programme will give other players a look on game day. The likes of Esther Little, Cameron Taylor-Willis and Susannah Rafiu helped Ipswich to claim the WNBL D1 regular season title last weekend, but expect coach Drane to give his stars a break as he spreads minutes across the rest of the squad. Like tomorrow’s opponents, a number of Itchen’s roster have also turned out in D1 this season, with Solent benefitting from the likes of Faye Endean and Charlotte Finn. No doubt the South coast programme will have a healthy rotation tomorrow as well, however. View the Copleston High School roster View the Itchen College roster