Students Staff

25 January 2016

Basketball bonanza

Essex Blades

Essex Blades women's basketball team

Essex Blades women’s basketball team has won the Basketball England National Cup final in its first year in the competition.

Playing at the home of Basketball England in Sheffield, and rated as the underdogs against Reading Rockets, they came back from seven points down at half-time to win 53-52, taking the lead with just three seconds of the game remaining, and then enduring a heart-stopping moment as Reading Rockets’ final attempt to score bounced off the rim and out as the buzzer went.

Blades player Jazmine Charles picked up Most Valued Player for her 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. With 3.4 seconds left Jazmine found fellow player Monica Kucerkova to make it 53-52. Not far behind her on the statistics board came teammate Dimitra Tsavou with 17 rebounds and nine points.

Team captain, Emma Camp, who has led the team on and off court for last three seasons, signed off in style with victory in her last game for the Blades as she heads to Australia to take up a marine biology post-doctoral position. Her vest, number 14, will now be officially retired as a tribute to the contribution she has made to the team and the programme.

Ecstatic head coach Mark Lloyd said: “It’s an understatement to say this is a fantastic achievement, I am so proud of everything the players have done. This is a major moment for the team as we secure our first national title, at the first time of asking.

For the players to do this while keeping up the high academic standards demanded by the University of Essex is a sure sign of their talent and dedication to their sport.

My thanks also go to the coach load of students from the University who travelled up to Sheffield to watch us play, their encouragement was invaluable.”

The basketball team is one of three Performance Squads at the University of Essex. Alongside volleyball and rugby sevens, the University is attracting elite players from the UK and abroad, offering them top coaching and high levels of support in both their sporting and academic endeavours.

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