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Ryan wins national award

Oaklands College Wolves Academy captain Caitlin Ryan has shown that she is multi-talented by winning the Basketball England 2023 National Statistician of the Year.

The award is presented to the leading in-game statistician across the top three divisions of men’s basketball and the top two of the women’s game with the 16-year-old from Bishop’s Stortford becomes the youngest person to ever win it.

While most of basketball closed down during the Covid-19 pandemic, Wolves men and women continued to play behind closed doors and it gave Ryan the chance to be trained by London official Abi Osunsami, and she qualified as the youngest official in the country three years ago.

Since then she has “statted” at the top level of both the men’s and women’s senior games, including the recent WBBL play-off final at the O2, as well as the Elite Academy League and Wolves’ national league games,

The Wolves captain is understandably delighted to win the award: “It’s great to be named as National Statistician of the Year and I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped me reach this level.

“I first started as a statistician during lockdown which was great for me as it meant that I was still able to watch games in person. This then helped me to pass my advanced stats course when I was 14. This year I’ve mainly been doing WBBL and Division 2 men’s games available at Oaklands but previously I’ve done BBL games for London Lions as well.  My favourite games to do the stats for are the all star games which I’ve done for the past 2 years.

“Being at Oaklands has helped me to grow as a player and official as there are numerous games where I can work as a statistician or as a table official. I feel by knowing both aspects of the game it’s helped improve my knowledge and IQ as a player.”

“What a fantastic award for Caitlin. Not only is she a dedicated student of the game she has progressed so quickly as a statistician and she thoroughly deserves this award. Seeing her and her mother at the O2 on the table was just wonderful. As an academy we try to help our student athletes develop their skills around the game that adds to their own future employment opportunities and I think Caitlin has grabbed that opportunity with both hands,” said Oaklands College Head of Basketball Michael Ball.

Ryan also drew praise from Basketball England DEO Stewart Kellett and East Region Chairman Graham Hiscock: “This award is a truly special achievement and one Caitlin should be extremely proud of, as our game continues to grow, the importance of quality statisticians is heightened, and as a sport we are proud of the growing group of statisticians we have, so to be recognised as the national leader in this space is a testament to the continued excellence she has displayed” said Kellett.

“Officials are the lifeblood of the sport, so I want to thank Caitlin for being a role model for all developing and aspiring officials.”

“What an amazing achievement for Caitlin to be voted National Statistician of the Year in just your first year at Oaklands College” said Hiscock, who presented the teenager with the East Region Statistician of the Year award prior to Wolves’ final home game of the season. .

“This is a thoroughly deserved recognition for all the time Caitlin has put in to improve yourself in this field but also the time she has taken to help others get qualified as statisticians. Once again massive congratulations from all of us at East Region “

Having started at Oaklands a few days before her 11th birthday, Ryan has worked her way through the junior programme before becoming the club’s youngest Women’s British Basketball League player in April 2023. This season she captained the Elite Academy league side that reached the competition’s semi-final stage as well as playing in the senior NBL Division Two side and making more WBBL appearances than any other academy player.

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