What a strange time this has been, and what better way to cheer everyone up with some awards! Due to the Coronavirus outbreak many things have been affected, one of them being our annual awards evening. But despite the struggles of lockdown we will prove that this virus can’t take away everything, so this week we present to you our West Suffolk Wolves 2019-2020 Awards.. with a bit of a twist. Virtually! This article gives you an insight into how each team did this season, explained by the coaches. As well as identifying who won what award in each team. The three awards traditionally presented are ‘the most improved,’ ‘Mr hustle,’ and ‘players player.’ ‘Players player’ is an award nominated by fellow teammates and the other two are nominated by the coach.

Traditionally we begin the evening with the Under 12s. So here is a rundown of the season explained by their Coach Phill Ennis-Bug.

“This season for the u12 mixed team was a good season for experience, learning and competing in different styles of competition. As the season progressed, it was clear to see the team chemistry also did. Being one of the only mixed teams this season was a challenge, however every game all players competed and hustled to try get a win at the end of the game. This was actually my first season coaching in the National League and I felt that the players performing all have the ability and drive to continue playing at this level throughout their basketball career. I am excited for what the new season brings and I am very happy with the team and I hope next season is as good.”

Mr hustle: Jack Amps 
“This years mr hustle award goes to Jack! Jack is a determined player who plays with confidence and shows he can understand how he helps the team by being a threat on offence and being a good defender. Jack’s work rate is high and always shows a great level of energy. From watching Jack play he shows a positive attitude when making a mistake and he always tries to make up for it.”

Most improved: Lily Edwards 
“This seasons most improved award goes to Lily! Lily is now a key member to the u12 mixed team by becoming a lot more confident marking other players a lot bigger than her, as well as finding many ways to score at the basket. With lily being at the older age of the u12 team, the improvement will help her becoming a key player for other teams as she continues her basketball career with west Suffolk wolves!”

Players player: Flo Kent 
“This years players player goes to Flo Kent! Flo is another key player who is experienced playing in other tournaments for west Suffolk wolves and this showed this season. Flo was able to help players become more involved with the game by creating space on the court and moving the ball to help others get into potential scoring opportunities. Hopefully Flo continues this in the upcoming seasons allowing her to grow and become a better basketball player!

Under 14 girls. Here is a little run down of the season from coach Elliott Defreitas.

“I would like to thank all of the parents and players involved in the team this year. After speaking with different parents throughout the season, it was clear to me just how much we improved as a team game by game. We would witness great performances from different players, and towards the end of the season we was playing our best basketball, sharing the ball well on offense and playing tough together on defence.  It is a shame that the season was cut short as I feel we was really starting to find our form, however I’m extremely proud of every single player and it was great being able to coach this team as my first season being a head coach.”

The Most Improves: Esther Cushing

“The player I have chosen for this award, has improved all areas of their game, and given us big performances in the second half of the season. The hard work that she put in during training helped her improve her offensive game, giving us big scoring games when we needed them most. With another year at the U14 level, I’m excited to see the great impact that she will make in the league next year.”

Miss Hustle: Violet Jones

“This was a very difficult decision to make as I feel like a number of girls gave their all throughout the whole season. This is an award that took me a lot of time to think about, but in the end my decision came based on who I felt made the most hustle plays throughout the season and who wasn’t afraid to make the extra effort even while playing such big minutes for us. She was very consistent for us and turned up to play whether it was at training or match day and someone that I could rely on week in week out to give me everything they have. “

Players Player: Anna Cartwright

“This player has improved so much this year, not only as a player but a true leader. Our players player was extremely consistent for us throughout the season, she led our team in scoring through the season, while also leading by example in training and setting the tone in every she does. This player has a very bright future ahead of her, and it’s been a an absolute pleasure coaching her this season..

Our Under 14 boys season rundown by their Coach Elliott Defreitas:

“I would personally like to thank all of the parents and players involved in the team this year. I couldn’t have asked for a greater group to coach throughout the season. To see the improvements that every single team member has made not just as basketball players but as young men has been great to witness, and I’m extremely proud of every single one of them. Unfortunately our season was cut short but I couldn’t be happier with each performance we gave this year and everything that we accomplished.”

Most Improved: Hamish Campbell

The player I have chosen for this award, has improved all areas of their game and grown into a true leader. He is actually an U12 and even though they were playing against boys two years older than them, he was fearless and gladly accepted any challenge I gave him. Understanding passing angles and how to efficiently use ball screens he was able to learn new ways to score and find his open teammates.With two more years at the U14 level I’m extremely excited to see what the future has in store for this young man.

My Hustle Award: Ollie Roberts

“Moving onto our second award, this years Mr Hustle award. This was a very difficult decision to make as I feel like every player gave their all throughout the whole season. However I chose this award based on who was most consistent and who held other accountable when they felt like their teammates could be doing better. This person turned up to play whether it was at training or match day and someone that I could rely on week in week out to give me everything they have. They would gladly take on the challenge to guard the other teams best player, whilst knocking down important 3 point shots for us throughout the season.”

Player’s Player: Charlie Smythe

“Our players player was extremely consistent for us throughout the season, he led our team in scoring for multiple games, while also providing great leadership to the rest of the team. I’m super proud of him and how much he has continued to improve over the course of the season.”

Next up are our U16 Girls, coached by Coach Johnson

“It was a pleasure coaching The U16 Girls team this year,” said Coach Johnson. “The team played in the Central Conference with 8 teams which led to a 14 game schedule (home and away). Playing some tough basketball down the stretch we finished with a 6 – 5 win – loss record. Of these 5 losses 3 were forfeit’s Exeter, Bristol and Winchester due to distance (Exeter being 5.5 hours away). This was a shame as we were able to beat  #2 Bristol at home by 20 points. The highlight of the season was against Bracknell at home. We had already beaten them by 15 points away but with injuries we didn’t have the same talent or depth. Being down 6 points with 2 minutes to playing is always going to be tough, but a tough mind set by all of our girls allowed our team to full court press and take advantage of the turnovers created and made the FT’s in the final second.”

Kayleigh Brown: Players player
” So this award is a team voted award. The team can see she is a dedicated player, always at practice and individuals. She is fun to be around, but also has her serious moments. She includes everyone in the team, and has been a pleasure to be around not only for my self but also her teammates which I believe is one reason why her teammates have voted for her…”

Jemima Kent: Miss Hustle 
“This award is a tough one to chose for as all players show a desire in the game to compete as they look to help our team win. This year I have chosen Jemima because she is always hard working, who puts a lot of time in at home working out, running, shooting and dribbling. She gives everything on the court both in practice and in games and continues to impress me with her desire to pursue basketball and improve as a student, person and player. Keep working hard Jemima.”

Grace Spooner: Most Improved 
“This year I have chosen grace for the following reasons: She is a hardworking player in all games and gives everything, leaving it all on the floor. You can see she has a desire to win proving this in the way she conducts herself on the court. The biggest improvement this year has has been the use of her voice on the court which has helped her leadership no end.  This has made a huge difference in our teams performances. Keep working hard Grace.”

The Under 16 boys coached by coach Aiden Saunders

A rundown of the season from Coach Aiden: The U16 Boys began the season open to learning and developing as complete basketball players. The season began with some very good early wins but the drive to improve came through losses from the top teams in the league. We felt we could beat any team so our practices grew in focus, effort and discipline during the course of the season. The result began to show on the court. Due to Covid the season fell short and we finished 3rd. The biggest victory was each player knowing that they pushed to their limits and found higher self-esteem on and off the court. Well done boys!

Christian Kwakye: Mr hustle
“Not only did I see it, parents would talk about it. And seeing somebody fly in for a rebound, and being in the passing lane to get the ball and also defending very well”

Jack nichols: Most Improved
“It’s about how you are on and off the court… He is great in his heart but he has so much passion he couldn’t control it and so excited to play basketball… As we learned discipline and as he grew and developed into men, it was clear he was paying attention to everything I was saying and it showed on the basketball court too”

Alfie Price: The player’s player
“It was greatly deserved. He was so vocal, even when he didn’t know what to say, he was still vocal. On the bench he was vocal, on the court he gave effort. He kept is peers heads up. In practice he is a great player. It was great to watch you play and very exciting to see a young boy growing into the man he is becoming”

The Under 18 Girls Academy Team

“Was a pleasure coaching the U18 women this year. We had good talent on the team and a willingness to want to compete. Our league was an interesting one as we started in the North conference but with all but 3 teams pulling out BE merged the North Conference with the South Conference to form one National Conference. The girls battled hard to pullout a 6 – 3 win – loss record finishing 3rd in the league. It’s hard as had we of beaten London Warriors away would haves came 1st, but in a game where we were up by as many as 20 points sometimes things don’t go your way. Finishing the game with only 4 players on the court having to play 5 minutes was too much as London Warriors took the advantage and won the game by 15 points. Sometimes the better team doesn’t always win,” said by U18 girls Coach, Darren Johnson.

Emily Soar: Most Improved 
“Emily started the season timid as she was playing above herself For me the deciding point cane in America where she started to be more aggressive, assertive and well as starting to go to the basket to finish and where her shot started to fall. Once back to the end of the season I saw a huge difference in the confidence. Through her hard work Emily is not only showing improvements on the court but also in the classroom.”

Grace Spooner: Miss Hustle 
“when the lights go on and the game start Grace is always there ready to play. She will give 100% in games and in wanting to win as well as wanting her teammates to win. What’s frustrating for me is that she wants to win so bad that she will even hide injuries from me making it harder to coach and support her. She is great to be around and a player you would always want on your team.”

Lizzy Sanders: Players Player
“This year our players have voted for Lizzy, a player who always encourages the rest of the team, and is always there trying to help the team win together. Lizzy will always give everything in all practices, games and individuals, as well as anything she puts her mind too, she truly does lead by example. She will always make new players feel welcome and included in everything that we do as a team. She is one of the most dedicated players I know both to the game, her skill development and to her own personal development. She is holds a unique desire to always better herself as a student, person and player. I am sure her teammates also see this in her, which have ultimately leads to her nomination.” 

The Under 19 boys Academy team

A rundown of their season from Coach Johnson. “It was a pleaser coaching the U19 Elite Academy this year. We played in the Eastern Conference of the ABL (Academy Basketball League) which is a National Competition run by Basketball England. This year there was 9 teams in our conference producing a 16 home and away game schedule. We were a young team so it was a rebuild year for us. We came out slow but as the months past our team chemistry improved. Battling hard we were able to split the season with 8 wins and 8 losses. year we The highlight for us was our home and away games VS Mayfield School. In the away game we started slow and they took advantage winning by 9 points 61 – 70. Yet at our home game with better chemistry we were able to take the advantage and although Mayfield came out strong in the second half we hung on for a 10 point win 79 – 69 winning the head to head and earning a place in the Sweet 16 where we players Nationally Ranked #1 Holy Trinity.”

Most Improved: Nathaniel Watkins

“It’s hard with the U19’s to pick out a most improved because they all play 15 hours of basketball per week going hard so will untimely all improve; however this year Nathaniel Watkins has progressed a lot from the first day of practice to the last day. He has been dedicated to his work ethic all season long and his development really started to shine in post season play were he started to take it to the basket and finish as well as his shots starting to fall. I am really interested to find out how his development this season will impact his playing time next season.”

Mr Hustle: Thomas Revell 

“This year we could have chosen from a few players but for me this young man stands out because of the following reasons: His consistent in everything his does on the court from effective defence with effort to offence execution and shooting. Not only is he a hard working player but he is a great person and student. With his commitment and willingness to win at all cost he is very hard on himself when it comes to mistakes, in life failure goes hand in hand with success, you cannot have one without the other and he needs to understand this and accept this, once he does he will find true success.”

Players Player: Cameron Poolton 

“Cameron came to us as a scrawny shy 15 year old with aspirations of playing college basketball. Over the past 3 years he has dedicated his time, effort and learning to become the best player he can be, and has truly became a remarkable young man. Recently though what I admire most in Cameron is his pursuit to find, learn and become the best person, student and player that he can. He leads by example and tries to encourage all his teammates along the way. I feel his team can also see these great qualities he holds and have voted for Cameron based on these to become 2020 Players player.”

And finally last but not least, the Mens team.

Coach Eliott said, “It was an up and down season for the men but I am very proud of how our players finished in the final half of the season. Playing with a depleted squad for the second half of the season, we was able to provide our younger players with a lot of playing time. During this time they showed drastic improvement in all areas of their game, while our veteran players on the team demonstrated great leadership and performances. It might not have been the season we had hoped for but we can gladly say we improved on and off the court.”

The Most Improved: Phil Ennis-Bugg

“This was a tough decision as we have a lot of young players on the team who are constantly improving. However the player I have chosen for this award, was based on watching this player at U19 level to then seeing this player play for mens, and to see the confidence and skillset on show was great to see.Providing us with much needed 3 point shooting throughout the season, this player also learnt how to confidently take the ball to the basket. With plenty of years ahead at the mens level I’m excited to see this young mans game grow and be a much needed leader to the team next year. “

Mr Hustle: Chris Kent

“This was a very difficult decision to make as I feel like our team philosophy encouraged everyone to work their hardest at all times. There were numerous players up for this award however the player that came to mind for me is someone that was never afraid to put their body on the line and someone that would give you their all in everything that they do. They were a great teammate to the rest of the players and also brought a toughness to our squad that was much needed.It was an absolute pleasure coaching this player this season.”

Players Player: Aiden Saunders

“This player has been a true leader for us this year and produced night after night, giving us big scoring games while guarding the other teams best player. Our players player was extremely consistent for us throughout the season, and was a great mentor to the younger players on the team, helping and guiding them in anyway that he could. Thank you for giving 100% whether it was training or games and always having a positive mindset throughout the season.. “

Be sure to check out our social medias too for more personal reports from our coaches on video! If you want to join the Wolfpack email wswheadcoach@gmail.com !


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