The 20/21 WBBL season sees the return of 3 more talented young athletes in Eabha Kerr, Jannike Marshall and Jenni Torrance.
For Eabha and Jannike, this will be their third season in a Pride jersey, whilst Jenni is back for a second season.
Jannike played 14 games in 19/20 between the WBBL Championship and Cup, averaging 3.4 points per game and growing her role in the team over the course of a season which was headlined by a 14 point performance at home against Oaklands Wolves on the day of her 17th birthday just ahead of the lockdown. This helped Jannike earn a spot on the long-list of players being considered for the GB U18 women’s national team.
Jannike is excited to be back, saying: “I am thrilled to return to pride this season. Although it’s not the season we all expected I am looking forward to improving and getting better as a team and as an individual.”
Eabha also appeared in 14 games across all competitions during the 19/20 season, averaging 1.2 points and 1.8 rebounds. Having mostly played on the perimeter in the past, 6’2” Eabha embraced the challenge of playing at the forward spots last season, where she enjoyed the more physical nature of the game as she worked on developing her all-round ability.
On returning for 20/21, Eabha said: “I’m really excited to return to play this season, especially after such a long time off court. As I was recovering from an injury before lockdown, I was away from playing for even longer than most.”
Jenni made a big impact on the opening weekend of the season in 19/20, where she made her WBBL debut in the first Trophy game against champions Sevenoaks Suns whilst still aged just 14, scoring a customary 3 pointer in the game. Her season was derailed by injury after this, but her performances, along with those for the Scotland U16 national team last summer, earned her recognition on the GB U16 women long-list.
Jenni is now looking forward to 20/21, saying: “It is an amazing opportunity and feeling to be part of Pride. I am really excited to be returning this season. I feel I learnt a lot more about the game last year and I can’t wait to learn even more. I am also really excited to be back with my team and get to know our new players,”
Pride head coach Bart Sengers spoke on the return of the 3 players, starting with Kerr, saying: “Eabha is one of the young guns we are bringing back. She made some nice progress during last season yet there is so much more upside. She has found another gear in practice which is very promising and over the first lockdown period she started getting more and more dedicated to improving as a basketball player.
“Eabha adds some necessary length to our team but at the same time she can be one of the fastest players on the court. She was our best screener last season and I believe this season she will step up and help the team even more. She is taking it step by step and I am expecting a step in rebounding, shooting and defense. I know she is very capable and I will be rooting for her.”
On Marshall’s return, Sengers commented: “Jannike has had some great games for us last season despite still being a very young player in the league she was already able to contribute on both sides of the floor. She shoots the 3 with confidence and can be a great perimeter defender. She does a great job of spacing the floor for the team and knows when to move the ball and when to shoot.
“Her understanding of the game seems that of someone with a lot more experience and it has helped both her and the team. There is an opportunity for her to take a bigger role this year and get more consistent. I am looking forward to her grabbing that opportunity and making the most of it.”
The coach continued on bringing back Torrance, commenting: “Jenni was very unfortunate last season being out for most of it with an injury. She had a great start and showed a lot of promise during the two games vs Northumbria and Sevenoaks for the Trophy and I feel for her having been out for so long. While she is still not fully back we are expecting her to be available for this season and reap the rewards from all the hard work she did put in while being injured.
“She has shown great maturity and focus and not often have I seen a player stay so positive and making sure she worked on whatever she could. I believe that once she is back she will make a difference for the team despite her age and experience. She has a natural feel for the game and great vision. I can wait to see her take some of the point guard minutes and learn to lead the team on the floor.”