We check in with one of Barking Abbey Crusaders’ exciting crop of teenage rising stars to find out a little more about them.
Name: Zoe Willis
Team: Barking Abbey Crusaders
Position: Shooting Guard
Signature Play: Fast Break
Twitter address: @ZoeWillis4
How did you get into basketball? I didn’t start playing basketball properly until Year 8 at school. I played for the school team who advised me to go to county trials. Before I knew it, I was playing for my region and they advised me to go to a club and I ended up playing for Southend Swifts.
Do you have any superstitions or rituals before you play? No. But I always have to make a lay-up after the warm up before tip.
What has been your best basketball memory so far? Representing England at U15 was a great experience, but my best was with my club Southend Swifts at Final fours in 2014. We were down by about 20 going into the last quarter and somehow we went on to be crowned champions.
Favourite basketball arena? It’s not exactly my favourite arena, but I was lucky enough to go see NBA global games in London at the O2 last year and the atmosphere was incredible.
What sports do you enjoy outside of basketball and who do you follow/support? From a young age I was always a football person. My brother always used to support Manchester United so I followed him with that. Now I’ve managed to get him over to the basketball side and he supports Chicago Bulls – but I personally prefer Golden State.
If you could be a character in any film or TV show (current or past), who would you be and why? I love the film Divergent, so playing Tris would be kinda cool.
Fast-fire favourites of your please – day of the week, colour, number – Friday, Pink, 4,
What would be your perfect weekend? Coming home to see my family, a chill day Saturday and game day on Sunday.
You cook a meal for your coach – what would it be and why? I’m not really the best of cooks, does going to a restaurant count?
You win millions in a competition – who do you tell first and why, what do you buy first and why? I would tell my family first and then use it for us all to go visit my cousins in Las Vegas and Australia.
If you didn’t play basketball, what other sport would you like to be a pro in and why? – It’d have to be football. I actually was at Colchester United before I broke my leg. It was then that I realised the sport maybe just wasn’t for me after breaking three bones doing it!
Finally, tell us something hardly anybody or nobody knows about you? So a few years ago, I went on holiday with my family and our friends. It was our first night and me and my mate thought it’d be quite funny to see who could keep these massive ice cubes in our mouth the longest. A little while later, I ended up choking on the thing and my mum was giving me back slaps from the other side of the table. That was defiantly my most scariest experience ever!