Tag: south adelaide panthers

WNBL Player Spotlight – Adelaide Lightning – Jasmin Fejo

PERHAPS one of next season’s breakout young guards, Jasmin Fejo will look to take the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) by storm when she signs on as a rostered player for the Adelaide Lightning next season. Fejo will rely on her pace and speed when she sizes up against some of the Australia’s elite basketballers after displaying numerous impressive stints in the NBL1 Central division over the last few years.

Beginning her play at Portside Christian during her high school days, Fejo earned a coveted spot for South Australia Metro in 2017 at the National Under 18 Championships, which preceded competing in the same tournament’s Under 20 age bracket later down the track. Following what was a stellar junior circuit for the 20-year-old, it was time to take her journey to the next stage and start to transition to the professional level.

Back in 2016, it was announced that former WNBL legend Rachel Sporn would ply her mentoring traits to a new basketball academy, to help progress the next wave of South Australia’s finest ballers. Fejo was a part of that squad for a few years. In the meantime, Fejo started to refine her game competitively in South Australia’s state-wide competition, the Premier League.

Perhaps her best night on record with the West Adelaide Bearcats came in 2019, where Fejo produced a career-high night from the field, accumulating 40 points in a single game against the South Adelaide Panthers. This performance was indicative of her season as a whole, as Fejo rose to prominence throughout the 2019 season. Awarded the Merv Harris for being the best player under 21 years of age in the competition, she was also be awarded an All-Star Five selection to round out a spectacular 2019 year whilst shooting an exemplary 42.7 per cent leading to 15.6 points per contest.

Major aspects of Fejo’s game are her quickness and her ability to get out on the fast-break and cause substantial damage before the opposition defence even has the chance to get set. For Fejo herself, she knows what her strengths can offer to the Lightning and she is excited to be able showcase this to head coach Chris Lucas.

“I can get up in the lanes of the offence team, also using my speed and court supervision to blow past players and bring my teammates into the game,” Fejo said. “I would describe my playing style as aggressive, not selfish, and hard-working so I am always willing to put my body on the line for the team.”

Following the ongoing contracts of both Steph Talbot and Chelsea Brook as well as the signing of WNBA superstar Alanna Smith, Fejo became the fourth known member of the Lightning’s squad for WNBL21. The Adelaide faithful are hopeful that the debutant can produce in what will be an unprecedented season up in North Queensland come November 12.

NBL1 Central women’s team summary: South Adelaide Panthers

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition was cancelled for the 2020 season, so instead we take a look back at some of the teams that would have been tipping off in the NBL1 Central competition. Today’s side is South Adelaide women’s side that finished second from the bottom, but four wins clear of the wooden spoon.

SEASON SUMMARY

Finished: 10th
Won: 5
Lost: 15

TOP PLAYERS

Brianti Saunders

Statistics: [20] 18.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.7 steals
Shooting: 55.2% (2pt) | 26.2% (3pt) | 86.2% (FT)

The team’s top scorer and one of the damaging duo for the Panthers, Saunders put up team-highs in points and steals for 18.7 and 1.7 per game respectively. Along with that, she picked up the six rebounds and more than two assists per game to fill her stat sheet each and every week from 31.9 minutes. Saunders was hard to combat with an accurate 55.2 per cent shot from inside the arc, and drilling 86.2 per cent of the free-throws when getting to the line.

Mollie McKendrick

Statistics: [18] 16.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals
Shooting: 37.8% (2pt) | 0.0% (3pt) | 74.1% (FT)

Teaming up well with Saunders and causing issues for opposition defences, McKendrick led the team in rebounds (8.7), and was second overall in points (16.7) and assists (3.4). Playing the most minutes of any player on average at 34.4 per game, McKendrick was able to put up plenty of shots, even if it was at a lower accuracy of 37.8 per cent. Her free-throw work was solid at 74.1 per cent and she was always one of the most damaging players in the blue and white.

Anne Hatchard

Statistics: [5] 16.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.8 steals
Shooting: 44.4% (2pt) | 24.1% (3pt) | 64.7% (FT)

The dual-sport athlete was able to pad her stats from limited games much like her ability to find the oblong ball in the AFL Women’s. The talented rebounder averaged a double-double for the season and had she played more than the five games – restricted to due to commitments, Hatchard may well have helped lead the Panthers to a few more wins. While it was mentioned the above players had team-highs in certain statistics, it did not include Hatchard who due to her low game count would not be included, but she did post an impressive 10.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals to go with 16.6 points.

Highlight of the season: Three wins in six games

While the ultimate season record would prove disappointing with five wins from 15 games, the Panthers started strongly enough, winning three of the first six games to head into late April with a balanced win-loss record. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they would win just two more in the next 14 games, but they had a number of competitive losses where they came close.

Best win: defeated Norwood Flames by 11 points

The Panthers enjoyed an impressive win over the Flames despite trailing in most of the key statistics. The Flames had a whopping 11 more blocked shots, 10 more assists and two more defensive rebounds, as well as a higher contribution off the bench. But it was the Panthers who committed less turnovers (minus eight), had more steals (plus three) and more offensive rebounds (plus five) on the night. McKendrick (31 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Saunders (26 points, nine rebounds and three assists) caused all sorts of headaches for the opposition, while Hannah Stewart had seven points and seven rebounds for her troubles in the important win.

Summary

South Adelaide Panthers would be an exciting team in 2021 if they can hold onto their list, with former premiership Eagle, Olivia Thompson joining the side along with a number of young guns coming through the program that could make their mark on the 20201 NBL1 Central season.