Nottingham Wildcats return to court action this weekend as they take on Sheffield Hatters tomorrow night, Friday 24th September in a 7:30pm tip off in the first round of the WBBL Cup at the All Saints Sports Centre in South Yorkshire.
The two sides are joined by Manchester Met Mystics in Group B of the competition and the Wildcats will follow up Friday’s match-up with another away game on Saturday before their regular season starts at Leicester Riders on Saturday 2nd October.
A new look team built over the summer will include the likes of Oaklands Wolves youngster Grace Ashton and American Charleston graduate Brooklyn Pannell who will likely replace the void left by the departing Chelsey Shumpert.
The club have also signed London born Imani Whittington after a spell in the US with Colombia Lions. The GB International graduated from Colombia University having previously played for Barking Abbey before moving to America.
With Kennedy Nicholas in from Sacramento State University and Shaunay Edmonds signing from the University of Akron, Wildcats Head Coach Kenrick Liburd will be hoping his new stars can replace the old guard including the likes of Tia Freeman, Simone Costa, Rebecca Dwomoh and Moa Lundqvist who have now moved on.
Two more youngsters Brahe Ashton and Isabel Bueriberi will add youthful fire power to the side whilst returning for another stint in the clubs roster for the 2021/22 season includes German star Praise Egharevba, GB Youth international Maisie Evison, Natalie Charity and Dejanae Casanova.
Ahead of the new campaign, one of the Wildcats signings, Brooklyn Pannell told the WBBL website that she can’t wait to get going, stating “I’m very excited for everything about this season, particularly to be back in front of the fans because they bring a different intensity to every game, and to be playing with a new team in a new league – I’m just really looking forward to all of it.”
After moving over from the US where she was part of the Charleston University Golden Eagles side, the 5ft9in Guard said “Nottingham just seemed like a perfect fit for me, after speaking to Coach Kenrick about his philosophies and they really fit with what I was used to in college, as well as the values the club is built on being a family-first organisation.”
Speaking ahead of her debut Pannell stated “There will be some nervousness before tip-off, I’m sure, but as soon as the jump-ball goes I feel like I’ll ready for everything. I am looking forward to embracing this experience in a new country, a new league, with new gyms I’ve not played in before, and just everything about it.”
*Main image @NottmWildcats Natalie Charity (left) will be returning to action for the Wildcats this season.