Women's Super League 2016-17: Who's New?

Women's Super League 2016-17: Who's New?

  • Oct 01,2016
It's a new name and a new look for many of the teams in the 2016-17 Basketball Ireland Women's Super League season. Here's a run down on some of the new faces to be expected.

UCC Glanmire:
Players In: Niamh Braham (Limerick Celtics), Alanna Braham (Limerick Celtics)
Head Coach: Mark Scannell
Champions UCC Glanmire boast one of the most settled squads in the league but will look to more from their underage internationals now that some of their more experienced players have moved on. Marie Breen has retired while Niamh Dwyer has moved into a coaching role with Fr Mathews on her continued rehabilitation from injury. 

That means that players like Sarah Kenny and Louise Scannell will need to bring their experience from underage European championships in the summer. Four of the squad also competed for Ireland at the FIBA European Championships for Small Countries in the summer while the retention of American Guard Chantell Alford is a major coup. 

Courtyard Liffey Celtics:
Players In: Jazmen Boone – USA (Maxol WIT Wildcats), Emma O’Connor – USA (Ulster Rockets), Anna Pupin (Pyrobel Killester)
Head Coach: Mark Byrne
Courtyard Liffey Celtics have recruited 2016 Player of the Year Jazmen Boone for the coming season. The signing of the American is a major statement of intent for new Head Coach Mark Byrne as Ulster Rockets’s American All-Star Emma O’Connor also makes the switch. 

Anna Pupin joins on the back of a strong season with Pyrobel Killester while Aine O’Connor can take confidence from a fine campaign with Ireland into another season as captain. 

Suzanne Maguire steps back from Super League basketball and Megan Hoffmann moves on after two seasons so there will be new voices in the huddle this year.  

Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell:
Head Coach: Francis O’Sullivan
Players In: Madison Ward - USA (Merrimack College), Lauren Falvey (UCC Glanmire), Kelly Diggin (St. Anthony’s) Samantha Coomey (Ballincollig)
Francis O’Sullivan has 30 years experience in coaching but takes on a new challenge as Head Coach of Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell in 2016/2017. He inherits a squad that includes Ireland internationals Amy Waters and Danielle O’Leary as well as sophomore professional Kaylee Kilpatrick from Canada. 

6’3 centre Madison Ward comes in to give added size from Merrimack College. O’Sullivan will also look to make the most of the contrasting talents of young guards Lauren Falvey and Kelly Diggin. Falvey is one of the best young shooters in the country while Kelly Diggins’ pace and energy will keep teams on their toes. 

DCU Mercy:
Head Coach: Mark Ingle
Players In: Nicole Clancy (Naas), Aisling Sullivan (Pyrobel Killester), Jasmine Wooten – USA (University of Portland), Sarah Fairbanks – USA  (St. Joseph’s University)
It’s an all-new American duo for Mark Ingle as DCU Mercy look to build on last year’s first place finish in the league table. Sarah Fairbanks averaged 10.5 ppg for St. Joseph’s University in the Philadelphia Big 5 while leading her team in assists from the post. 

Guard Jasmine Wooton is another NCAA Division I level player who is a top 20 all-time points scorer with the University of Portland. Aisling Sullivan’s move from Pyrobel Killester is a real boost to their silverware ambitions. 

U16 International Nicole Clancy steps takes her first step on the Super League ladder. 

Maxol WIT Wildcats:
Head Coach: Mick Evans
Players In: Dalacy Anderson - USA (George Washington University), Katie Whelan (New Ross Sparks), Brittney Dunbar – USA (Weber State University)

There was a lot of positivity on Suirside last season as Wildcats made the playoffs and the semi-finals of the Hula Hoops National Cup. Mick Evans is in charge for a second season and has opted for another guard/forward combo from the US. Brittney Dunbar started all 35 games in the guard spot in her senior season to be named Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year. 

Dalacy Anderson can expect a lot more minutes than she got for George Washington University in the Atlantic 10 and will be eager to make her presence felt in the post. 

Portlaoise Panthers:
Head Coach: Hunor Harkai -SRB
Players In: Aisling Hayden (ITC Basketball), Necole Sterling  - USA (Indiana University)

Portlaoise Panthers narrowly avoided relegation in their first season at the top and can be hopeful some key additions will help them consolidate in 2016/2017. 
Peter O’Sullivan takes up a backroom role with the club, meaning Hunor Harkai can bring his wealth of experience as Head Coach from clubs in Serbia, Hungary and Malta.
This season’s professional is versatile forward Necole Sterling who led University of Miami Hurricanes in three-pointers in her senior year and ranked 12th overall in the Atlantic Coast Conference. 
Aisling Hayden’s switch from ITC Basketball brings some much-needed depth to a squad which operated with the bare minimum at times last season. 

Pyrobel Killester:
Head Coach: Karl Kilbride
Players In: Leah Fechko - USA (St. Francis University), Jade Daly (Meteors)

With the league top scorer Raeshel Contreras moving on, Kark Kilbride has brought in American all-rounder Leah Fechko for his second season in charge. The guard brings a number of accolades with her from St. Francis Brooklyn. Fechko was named the Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and selected to the All-NEC First Team this 2015/2016. She averaged 10.0 ppg in a college career that included an appearance at the NCAA Tournament in 2014-15. 

Jade Daly moves across the Liffey from South Dublin with long-term absentee Emma Sherwood back to full fitness. 

Kilbride’s faith in some of his U20 players last season should also stand to him for the new campaign. 

Head Coach: Greg Petrovic
Players In: Shelby Smith - USA (Courtyard Liffey Celtics), Jessica Porter - USA (Gettysburg University), Noel Monet – USA (Houston Baptist University)

Greg Petrovic becomes Meteors’ fourth head coach in as many seasons on his return to Super League basketball although he’s unavailable for the first two games of the season. Also returning is Shelby Smith who was a free scoring point guard for Courtyard Liffey Celtics in 2014-15. 

Two more Americans head for Stillorgan straight out of US Colleges. Monet Neal signs a first professional contract after a career average12.7 points and 7.3 rebounds with Houston Baptist University. New teammate and 5’11 forward Jessica Porter was a team-leading scorer for Gettysburg last season. Porter will also be lining out for Trinity College. 

NUIG Mystics:
Head Coach: Mike Murray
Players In: Leire Martin Antón - ESP (Legrono), Brittany Glasco - USA (University of Virginia), Ebony Wells - USA (La Salle University).

The NUIG Mystics squad facing into its first ever Women’s Super League campaign is much depleted from the all-conquering Division One side of 2015/2016. 

Basketball fans will have to wait to see Ailish O’Reilly shine in Irish basketball’s top tier while the experienced duo of Siobhan Kilkenny and Michelle Fahy have stepped back from National League basketball. 

Brittany Glasco scored over 1,000 points in her time with the VW Marlins (NCAA Division III) and was named on the all-conference first team for the last two seasons. Ebony Wells is a 6’2 post player and Leire Martin Antón joins up having played at a high junior level in Northern Spain. 
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