VIDEO: Horsham teenager’s national basketball trophy hopes

HORSHAM’S Daniela Lozzi is relishing the prospect of one of her toughest court battles yet as she aims to secure a spot in the final of the inaugural Women’s Basketball League Trophy.

The 15-year-old is currently enjoying the opportunity to strut her stuff in the newly-formed WBBL with Sevenoaks Suns one of ten teams battling it out for glory.

Daniela Lozzi

Daniela Lozzi

And while many of her opponents may be several years older than her, England Under-16 player Lozzi is not about to let appearances or age stop her.

The Suns, a relatively young team, have made it through to the semi-finals of the WBBL Trophy where they will face current league leaders Nottingham Wildcats on Thursday.

The two met a fortnight ago with the Wildcats running out 82-49 winners but Lozzi insists they have been working hard on a game plan to stop them in their tracks this time around.

“Nottingham are one of the strongest teams we’ve played, they’ve got great shooters so we need to try and stop them,” said Lozzi, a pupil at Farlington School.

“They are a brilliant team, they’ve got a lot of experienced players. We played them recently, it was a really tough game but we can learn from it.

“We’re going to have to play a good defence, a good offence but we have our strengths.

“When we played them last us, they basically just shot so many threes so if we stop them from shooting it will be easier.

“We have to have a good all round game. But if we play well as a team, there’s no reason why we can’t win.

“This is my fourth season with the club now. It’s great; the level of basketball is very high. We train hard, we play hard and I love it here really.

“We’ve got quite a young team but we’ve got a lot of experience in the WBBL. We’ve got four seasoned players and they have really helped boost the team, in the age, the experience.”

If Lozzi and her Sevenoaks Sun make it through to the final at Birmingham’s NIA on January 11, they will be performing on court on the same day as the men’s BBL Cup final.

And with more and more attention being paid to the women’s game in the country, Lozzi believes that can only be a good thing for the future of the game.

“I think the fact that Division 1 has turned into the WBBL has really improved the update of basketball because the publicity has improved, everyone knows more about it, it’s all over twitter and everyone is enjoying it a lot more,” she added.

“Britain is just known for male basketball really so now that the female uptake has grown, it’s great because people know more about it and they are more aware of it.”

The WBBL Trophy Final at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham will provide a historic first piece of silverware for the recently launched WBBL. For joint tickets for this event and the BBL Cup Final go to www.theticketfactory.com/bblcupfinal or call 0844338000