Chemistry, growth and a bright future – Kohlhaas…
By Jamie Thomas
They were one of a fantastic 2020/21 WBBL season’s biggest
surprise packages, but the Essex Rebels aren’t finished there according to
their star guard, Andrea Kohlhaas, who is looking forward to another year of
growth and excitement for Tom Sadler’s side as the new campaign nears.
Securing some fantastic results and amazing highlights in an
historic campaign, Kohlhaas and the Rebels showed they could compete with the
best of the WBBL last year, and the 24-year-old revealed how this past summer
has been a time for reflection and looking forward.
“We always knew from the get-go last season that we could
compete with anybody in the WBBL if we showed what we were capable of on the
court, staying on top of our game and putting in a performance for the full 40
“I definitely think we showed what we could do in May
Madness, because aside from a crazy two minutes and little things here and
there, we gave London Lions a tough match, but against teams that good you
can’t give them a chance like we did in that second quarter if you want to beat
“I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on and appreciate just
how good we were last year – I don’t think we really appreciated or realised
what we were capable of. I think we were just so happy to even be playing,
given everything that happened in the world, and we just felt really lucky to
”The main reason I’ve come back is to help the team grow,
develop and reach another level with the aim of winning this club a trophy, but
I don’t think I could put it into words what it would mean for everybody at
Essex to achieve that.”
“We all know that we can compete for silverware.”
There were many moments throughout last season where the
Rebels showed their mettle, but what stood out the most was the team’s bond on
the floor and the enjoyment they took out of being in each other’s company.
Kohlhaas detailed that bond and why the team even surprised
themselves through the year.
“As a group I think we complete each other, we complement each other so well and we just had so much fun every night. I don’t think any of us, nor anybody else in the league to be honest, expected us to be as good as we were, and we’re excited to see what we can do this year.
“People can expect a lot of fun watching us, for sure, we
have a lot of different threats in various positions and we’ll offer really
exciting basketball to watch every single night. We all know that we can
compete for silverware this year.
“I’m so excited for that first game back and I think at
first it is going to be weird to see people in the stands again, but the club
has done a lot to grow the community we have in the area supporting the club
“Our success is going to be about team chemistry.”
A number of key players returning has certainly been
welcomed by the Rebels community, but one in particular that many speculated
would mean a lot to the San Jose State University graduate is return of her fellow
‘Splash Sister’, Ashleigh Munns, and Kohlhaas discussed the value of the former
Sevenoaks Sun to the team, as well as the importance of the team’s chemistry
“Ashleigh is a complete player, she is a huge offensive
threat but a very good defender and showed that against Cassie Breen a few
times last year. She brings such good leadership to the team, has a lot of
experience in this league and knows what it takes to win at this level.
“Having her helps us tremendously, she’s very communicative,
all about the team and she’s so important to the team it’s crazy. She’s a
competitor through-and-through and we’re both three-point shooters so we
clicked quite early, I had a lot of fun with her and she’s so consistent so I
always wanted to beat her in shooting drills, and she’s motivated me a lot, for
“At the end of the day, I think our success is going to be
about team chemistry again this year, and Ashleigh is a big part of that.
Newcastle in the playoffs last year were a prime example of how important that
chemistry is, that Cinderella story was a lot to do with chemistry, and we have
that too so we won’t be afraid of anybody, we’re just really excited to play
and anything is possible.”
“I feel really lucky that Tom took a shot on me.”
As the Rebels have developed and thrived since their arrival
in the WBBL, their third-year guard has done the same, and she is clearly
excited about the future for herself and the club as well.
“I feel like as this club has grown, I’ve grown with it. I
feel really lucky and blessed to be a part of this family and to be able to see
from my first year into my second year what jump I made as a player, but also
the club as a whole, and again going into my third year now.
“The club has big plans, and it is so special to be here and
be a part of it and I feel really lucky that Tom (Sadler) took a shot on me
when he did and brought me here because I’ve loved every minute of it.
“We have exciting plans for the future with some great
people behind the scenes putting their heart and soul into this programme, and
I don’t want to give too much away about what we have in store but it’ll
definitely be an exciting journey to watch.”