Oaklands return four of last season’s senior players for the upcoming campaign; Merissa Quick, Greeta Uprus, Beth Sarson and Lizzy Harrison will all suit up once more for the Wolves in the 2021/22 season. These four excellent additions will be instrumental in the Wolves success, and all bring experience and individual qualities to a league they know well. The quad will look to guide the young Wolves squad to a repeat of last years push to playoff basketball.
Merissa Quick, 6’3 forward, missed the majority of the last season due to a knee injury, but returns healthy and ready to make a huge impact for the Wolves this time round. In the run up to the 2021 playoffs we saw just how dominant Quick is when she produced an unbelievable 10 points and 3 rebound averages in the 6 games she played with a restriction <12 minutes per contest. She had this to say about her return to fitness:
“I’m really excited to be back with Oaklands. Last year I had a few setback, I’ve been working hard this summer, I’m feeling good and I’m ready to be back on court for a full season.”
Greeta Uprus, 5’10 guard, was the Wolves leading player last season. The Estonian guard put in huge performances for the Hertfordshire program and was key to them reaching the playoffs. The Wolves leading scorer averaged 14 points and 6 rebounds whilst shooting 43% from down town. Uprus’s performances impressed at home and abroad, as she earned a recall to the Estonian National Team for the Eurobasket qualifiers along the way. The sharp shooter is looking forward to the teams mix “I’m looking forward to being back! We have a good core of returners together with lots of great junior players. As seniors we will look to hit the ground running and guide the juniors along the way.”
Beth Sarson, 5’7 guard, will once again bring her high energy and relentless play back to the pack. One of the toughest and fittest guards in the nation, Sarson returns for a full season with her home town club after transferring back from Essex Rebels. Sarson was named MVP of this summer’s Ball Out 3X3 competition, something she will use as a springboard to boost her 6 point, 3 rebound and 2 steal averages last season. The Hertfordshire guard is ready to work:
“I can’t wait to get back to playing for Oaklands and in the WBBL, the league is getting stronger each year and I’m excited to be part of it again. This season will be fun, we have a great mix and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone develop, young and old, as we push each other to new levels.”
Lizzy Harrison, 5’11 Guard, takes the baton as the longest serving Wolf in the WBBL after the release of Kata Fulop. Competing in all of the Wolves previous seasons in the league, Harrison will be looking to bring her experience and scoring ability to the court in the new look roster. Hampered by injury last season, Harrison still managed an average of 8 points, 2 assists in 14 games for the Wolves.
The player had these thoughts on the season ahead:
“First and foremost we are hoping for a full and healthy season with the least amount of disruptions possible. The league and players did an excellent job to complete a season amidst the pandemic last year; credit to everyone involved.”
She continued: “Its an exciting time at Oaklands; the college has many high performance sports with a vision to become a true centre of excellence, and basketball is right at the forefront. Having come through the system myself, the opportunity for the best youth to play in the WBBL is really important. All of the seniors are right behind the venture and we will be doing all we can to support the program on and off the court.
Associate Head Coach Albert Ziwa commented: “This group of seniors embodies the right balance of support for the academy and quality to win in the WBBL. We have brought them back as they each bring high levels of skill and character, which is essential as they are as much a part of the academy players development as anyone at Oaklands. The most important lesson they will impart will be when the ball goes up on game days – we can’t wait to get out there and see what this group can do!”
You can see your new look Wolves when they start the season with a WBBL cup group game vs Leicester Riders on Saturday 25th September.