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Successful presentation event for Wolves

Updated: May 6

A big crowd at an impressively transformed Oaklands College Sports Zone saw Wolves host their annual presentation event on Sunday.

Players from Wolves’ eight juniors sides, four senior weekend teams and the new veterans side were in attendance to receive four awards for each team as well as hear some words from the coaches and a selection of highlight reels on the big screen.

The Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for each team was voted for by the players, with the coaching staff choosing the Most Improved Player (MIP), Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) and Coach’s player winners.

American guard Ri Thompson has terrorised WBBL defences throughout the season, and unsurprisingly collected the women’s MVP, Allison Day winning the MIP, Shaq Wade the DPOY and Claire Abbott – in her final season as a player – lifting the coach’s award from play-caller Lee Ryan.

Captain La’Quarne Sayles regularly poured in the points – including a 47-point haul at Ipswich - despite a difficult season for the Division Two Men, and he deservedly collected the MVP trophy.

Bill Irvine continued where he left off for the U-16s last season by winning both the coach’s and MIP awards while another former junior Wolf Ethan Downing collected the defensive trophy.

Three former junior Wolves also collected awards for the Division Three Men, with Milic Pavic winning MVP, Dontel Rose MIP and captain Dan Kostadinov the coach’s award, with Lewis Street picking up the DPOY

The Division Two Women – made up entirely of academy players – narrowly missed out on a place in the play-off, and all four award winners came through the junior programme and have been at Oaklands for at least six seasons. Captain Caitlin Ryan won the MVP award, with Lily Harkness taking the MIP, Joanna Akpan the DPOY and Ella Brown the coach’s award from Claire Abbott.


Eunice Wong was the winner of the U-16 girls MVP, with Lucy Claridge winning defensive player and U-14 Daisy Golan getting the MIP award. Having hit a game winner and also scoring a basket to take another game to overtime, Elise Beardsworth deservedly won the coach’s award.

A tough campaign saw the U-16 boys eventually stave off the prospect of competing in the relegation play-offs, and Otis Lau-Johnston became the only junior to collect two awards, being voted MVP by his team-mates and DPOY by his coach George Walker. Daniel Vega grabbed the MIP while Jayan Pisharody went home with the coach’s player trophy.

Despite playing up two age groups, U-15 captain Jacob Edrupt was clear winner of the MVP award for his team, while Oliver Thomas (MIP), Seth Coetzee (DPOY) and Kean Berba (coach’s) all collected trophies from Coach Sayles.

Wolves U-14 boys could claim to be the club’s most successful side having made it through to the JNBL Premier play-offs, and it was Liam Schertel who got the nod from his team-mates with the MVP. Zac Butterworth received the coach’s award from Ibrahim Garbia while Sam Mcree (MIP) and Titouan Vimeux (DPOY) also went home clutching silverware.

There was little surprise that Jane Yu collected the U-14 girls MVP after a season where she also regularly started for the U-16s. Another regular in the older age group, Olivia Akers, received the coach’s award from Allison Day, with Isobel Reed winning DPOY and Guari Kohli DPOY.

U-13 captain Alex Ryan followed in his sister’s footsteps by winning his side’s MVP trophy, with play-caller George Walker presenting Harry Regan with MIP, Frank Fojit DPOY and Ethan Fraser-Evans with the coach’s award.

Martha Riley went home clutching the U-12 girls MVP award after a first JNBL season for the club at JNBL level, while Rose Marsh won the award from the coaching staff. Francesca Scott went home with the DPOY, while Martha Riles win MIP.

A high-scoring season saw Manuel Gracia Peris collect the U-12 boys’ MVP as his team finished second in their division of the JNBL, only losing to league champions MK Breakers. Tristan Ball won the coaches’ award, Alex Cofone getting MIP and Aiden Harriman the DPOY.

At the start of the 2021/22 season a few players’ dads took a spare Saturday morning hour on the court at Oaklands, and within two years the group had grown to the point that they entered the Herts League Division Two. With some players returning to the game after one or even two decades, it was tough going at times but they finished the season with WINS from 18 games. Erik Witt won the side’s MVP, John Bretherton collected MIP, Ian Johnston was DPOY while Fraser MacFarlane received the coach’s award.

George Walker managed to coach seven of the club’s junior national league sides (the U-14s avoided his reign of terror) along with the D3 men at least once, and he was rewarded with the Wolves Club Person of the Year trophy.

Finally Academy players Grace Foster, Caitlin Ryan, Jack Davies, Amye Swinney and Stella Ekblad-Piscatelli all received special mentions for their additional coaching with the club’s Elevate programme which introduces basketball to primary school pupils.

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