‘Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat,’ that’s a phrase you hear around Nottingham these days, and one that can certainly be attributed to WBBL Nottingham Wildcats player, Brahe Ashton.
At just 20-years-old, Brahe, who is half-Irish and with a mother who resides in South-East Asia, specifically Thailand, is the Wildcats Academy graduate who recently returned to the club after a spell in the USA, and is currently studying, at Nottingham Trent University, a degree in Sports Science – she’s certainly keeping herself busy.
Sports, it’s always been part of her life, even for one still so young and fresh out of her teens, although ‘the beautiful game,’ that passed her by, football was never going to be her thing – basketball though, well that’s a different story altogether, this story.
“I was quite a sporty kid and used to do everything, including play football,” smiled Brahe.
“But I soon gave it up, that cold weather didn’t like me,” she laughs, “so I started playing basketball instead, and I’ve been at the Wildcats, starting in their academy, since I was nine-years-old.
“Granted I’ve played under a few coaches, but Pauline (Prior) and Leanne (Chandler), they’re the ones who’ve shaped me the most, made me into the player I am today.”
Brahe’s progression with the Wildcats, it’s been there for all to see and, although there was that brief sojourn Stateside, returning to her Nottingham home perhaps sooner than expected, it’s not been a move that she’ or anyone connected to the WBBL side, have regretted, far from it.
Now, at 20-years-old (she turns 21 on April 1, yes, she’s an April Fools’ baby) this particular Wildcat only made her first team debut around four years ago, at the age of sixteen, going on to lift the WBBL Cup (defeating Caledonia Pride 70-66, at the Birmingham Arena) in her first season – the term ‘start as you mean to go on,’ definitely springs to mind.
“We had a lot of really good, international players at the club in my first season (2017-18),” added Brahe.
“I learnt a lot from those players, those girls; now though, we’ve a young team and some new players, so we’re just putting all the pieces together.”
Having also donned GB jersey’s, at U16 and U18 level, surpassing doubling figures, Brahe would return to Nottingham, and to NTU, studying Sports Science with element of Coaching and Psychology, whilst also turning out for what is a strong BUCS side.
“I just love playing sport, even being really happy to collect an award for speaking out about women in sports, when I was 18,” continued Brahe.
“To me, I was still a young kid really, but we all need an unsung hero in our lives.
“Now though, my focus is the main thing, and to enjoy life as much as I can, as it doesn’t last long.
“Take this season, we’re just rolling one game at a time, focussing on just ourselves, and getting to know each other more than anything.”
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NottmWildcats Brahe Ashton enjoying herself on court for Nottingham Wildcats.