Molten WBBL Team of the Year – Women’s British…
The 2021-22 Molten WBBL Team of the Year, as voted by WBBL Head
Coaches, includes two London 2012 Olympians from the league-winning London
Lions, alongside a former league MVP and two American stars in their first
season on these shores who have made a big impact for their teams.
Jo Leedham-Warner – London Lions
The only unanimous selection in the team, London
2012 Olympian Jo Leedham-Warner was inspirational in her first season back on
these shores following an illustrious career at the highest levels of European
basketball in France, Poland, Turkey and the EuroLeague Women. Leading Lions to
a first ever WBBL Championship title, unbeaten at 24-0, along with the WBBL Cup
and WBBL Trophy, she averaged 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and
three steals per game, ranking first in the league in steals, first in field
goal percentage (56%), second in three-point percentage (43%) and tenth in
overall scoring. Perhaps most iconic, a season highlight came in the WBBL
Trophy Final live on Sky Sports as she threw herself to the floor to grab a
loose ball and assist a teammate with a pass over the back of her head, among
14 points, six rebounds and six assists in that game.
Brooklyn Pannell – Nottingham Wildcats
American guard Brooklyn Pannell finished as the leading scorer in
the league as Nottingham Wildcats finished fifth in the WBBL Championship –
maintaining a record of a top six finish in every WBBL season – and made the
Play-off semi-finals. Wildcats had slipped out of the Play-off places at one stage
until they finished with four straight wins, Pannell scoring 89 points in three
games over the space of five days in April, including a season-high 35 in a key
win over Durham Palatinates, also scoring 21 in a big East Midlands Derby win
in the Play-off quarter-finals. She was the only player in the league to
average more than 20 points per game, was also third in steals (three per
game), and grabbed more than five rebounds per outing.
Cat Carr – Sevenoaks Suns
Last season’s league MVP Cat Carr makes the Molten WBBL Team of
the Year for the fifth consecutive season, extending her record as the player
with the most appearances in league history, after leading Sevenoaks Suns to
second place in the WBBL Championship and the finals of both the Play-offs and
the WBBL Trophy. Finishing the campaign with amazing averages of 16 points,
eight rebounds and seven assists, she was the only player in the league to
finish top ten in points (7th), assists (4th) and defensive rebounds (9th).
Fittingly, she posted three triple-doubles in the campaign, and often in big
games, including 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Essex Rebels in
the Play-off quarter-finals, and 11 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists in the
Trophy semi-final win over Leicester Riders.
Laken James – Caledonia Pride
Pride were a form team over the second half of the season, winning
10 of their last 12 league games to finish in their highest ever placing of
sixth and make the Play-off semi-finals for the first time, with American star
Laken James a driving force behind that as she becomes the first Pride player
to ever make the Molten WBBL Team of the Year. She featured in the weekly
All-Star 5 three times in the last four weeks of the season, and finished as
the WBBL’s third-leading scorer with 19 points per game, fourth in steals with
three per contest, and as the ninth leading three-point shooter at an accuracy
of 37%, also posting eight rebounds and three assists per outing. She had a
season-best double-double of 31 points and 11 rebounds as Pride scored a big
win over third-placed Sheffield Hatters in April, and averaged 21 points, six
assists and five rebounds in the post-season.
Azania Stewart – London Lions
A fellow London 2012 Olympian, London’s centre
Azania Stewart was a defensive linchpin for the WBBL’s best defensive team and
among the league’s best players in the paint in a second WBBL campaign for
another player whose career took her all over the world, including Spain,
Australia, and the highest level of college basketball at Florida. Stewart
averaged 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one block in the league,
ranked third overall for two-point percentage (57%) and sixth in blocked shots.
She was dominant in their early-season WBBL Cup run, averaging 15 points and nine
rebounds in the competition, and winning the Cup Final MVP award with 20
points, on perfect 9-9 shooting, and six rebounds live on Sky Sports at the
Utilita Arena, Birmingham.