NBL & WNBL Player of the Week: Week 3 (31 October/1 November 2020)

With both the NBL and WNBL now underway, we take a look at some of the top performances to choose our Players of the Week.

We'll pick out a pair of star players from our top divisions and shine a spotlight on their performance, paying attention to the following criteria:

  • Efficiency
  • Stats
  • Team and opposition strength
  • Periods of influence in the game

Week three is the first this season where both the WNBL and NBL have played regular season games, so let's jump in and see who took our weekly honours.

NBL Division One

Blake Bowman - Derby Trailblazers

Season two for Blake Bowman in the NBL started with a new personal best in points (previous best, 20 v Reading Rockets). After this weekend's performance we may well see a big improvement from last season’s NBL D1 average of 9.3p/4.2r/2a/0.7s/0.2b.

Blake really impressed in the second half with an impressive dunk in the third quarter and a block on Cam Hildreth. The talented scorer was a major catalyst in the fourth, starting with a bucket when Derby was trailing and then later to extend the lead.

Ultimately, Bowman would finish with an impressive fourth-quarter return of 10 points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal.

"It’s great to be back out there and to get the ball rolling," said Bowman. "It’s a great win but it’s just the start for us.

"We had a lot of guys who played great and was definitely a good team effort. I’m excited for the rest of the season."

Derby head coach Matt Shaw added: "I'm delighted to see Blake perform so well, he’s been grafting hard this summer and continues to improve day by day.

"Blake had a great game Saturday, did a fine job getting into the paint and finished well under serious pressure."

You can catch Bowman's highlights below!

WNBL Division One

Esther Little - Ipswich

Another fantastic week from the young Gonzaga commit,  Little followed up her Player of the Week selection with another remarkable stat line against, traditionally, one of the toughest defences in the WNBL.

As always, the Ipswich product did a lot of everything, and resting for only 39 seconds, Little was instrumental in getting the victory and keeping the Suffolk side at the top of the pile with a 2-0 record.

Little’s finger prints are all over this game as she generated offensive opportunities for herself and others almost at will.

"I am so grateful to win this award again, especially in such a tough game against a very good team!" exclaimed Little after the win.

"Hopefully with the circumstances going on, we can continue to play like this as we are playing some of our best basketball."

Ipswich head coach Nick Drane said: "This was a huge win for us. Solent away, so early in the season, was always going to be tough and the girls did a phenomenal job of grinding out the win in some difficult circumstances.

"Esther is showing the league what most of us already knew, that she is an absolute next level talent!"

You can enjoy her Player of the Week performance below!