THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 East Women’s competition did as many basketball leagues did over the long weekend, giving players and staff a week off with over half the fixture now complete. It has been an excellent start to the competition’s inaugural season, as the sport begins to grow in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. With just eight rounds remaining in the home and away season, the race for the finals is set to heat up, with the maiden title up for grabs.
With no games taking place over the weekend, it is time to take a look at the leaders in some of the key statistical categories. While one player has been standing out from the rest (and it is far from an unfamiliar face), there have been plenty of individuals that have performed extremely well in the opening nine weeks.
Lauren Jackson (Albury Wodonga Bandits) – 32.62
Lauren Nicholson (Sutherland Sharks) – 25.16
Kimberley Hodge (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles) – 21.33
Ai Yamada (Albury Wodonga Bandits) – 20.6
Jackson has made her return to basketball in emphatic fashion, dominating in the NBL1 East and proving the most damaging offensive player so far this season. She is a double-double machine (we’ll discuss that more later), and her inside scoring has been just about unstoppable. Only dropping below 30 points on one occasion, Jackson has been a pillar of consistency and has shown quite a ceiling with a season-high of 41 points. Nicholson has been the star of the show for the Sharks, while Hodge and Yamada have also starred for their respective sides in the first nine rounds.
Chyra Evans (Newcastle Falcons) – 11.87
Lauren Jackson (Albury Wodonga Bandits) – 11.62
Rhiannon Yetsenga (Hills Hornets) – 11.22
Mikaela Dombkins (Maitland Mustangs) – 11.14
Evans tops the list in the rebounding battle, recording double-digits in this category in all but two occasions in 2022. She has been extremely consistent in flying for the loose ball and an average of 19 points a game looks quite nice too. Jackson has been a monster on the boards herself, leading the MVP race at this stage and will be tough to dethrone moving forward. She is a walking double-double and by far the most feared player in the competition. Yetsenga and Dombkins are both averaging over 11 per game themselves, showing how tight this race is.
Kate Seebohm (Norths Bears) – 6.22
Ella Dent (Illawarra Hawks) – 5.44
Elizajane Loader (Central Coast Crusaders) – 4.57
Mikaela Dombkins (Maitland Mustangs) – 4.42
Seebohm has been the most creative with ball in hand, showing some serious IQ and finding her teammates in the best scoring position. She has been lifting the Bears offence on a weekly basis and creating some fantastic shots with her smarts and executions. Dent has not been far behind with a strong start to the season and is the only other player to average over five dimes per game. Dombkins has been able to do it all, and a spot in the top four of both the rebounds and assists reflects that.