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Posts Tagged ‘Loughborough University’

Coupeville’s Makana Stone has signed a pro contract and will play in England’s top basketball league. (Photo property Loughborough University)

Same country, a higher level of competition.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone is remaining in England, but will make the jump to the country’s top basketball league after signing her first professional contract.

After stellar four-year runs on the hardwood at both CHS and Whitman College, the former Wolf went overseas, suiting up last season for Loughborough University in England’s Women’s National Basketball League.

Now, she will play for the Leicester Riders in the Women’s British Basketball League.

Stone and her new squad have a 24-game regular-season schedule, which kicks off in October and runs through April, 2022.

The top eight teams in the 13-team league advance to the playoffs.

Leicester and its rivals also square off in two tournaments which run alongside the regular season, with the WBBL Cup first up.

The Riders open play in that event Sept. 25, facing the Oaklands Wolves.

And yes, for my fellow Americans, there is supposed to be an “s” at the end of Oaklands, which plays out of Hertfordshire, and is not to be confused with the city in California which gave us Damian Lillard.

Stone, who earned a B.A. in Biology at Whitman, wraps up her Master’s in Exercise Physiology at the end of August.

Graduation is not until December, but other than making the walk to get another diploma, Andre’s lil’ sister will be able to focus full-time on the hardwood lifestyle.

Stone practiced with Leicester last season, but, as a non-European Union player, needed to qualify for a work permit before being eligible to play in the WBBL.

So, her game action came for Loughborough, which is sort of, kind of, the farm team for Leicester.

Running wild, the Coupeville native averaged a double-double, pouring in 270 points and snatching 231 rebounds across 17 games.

Stone added 33 assists, 58 steals, and eight blocked shots, had the third-best efficiency rating in the league, and finished second among all players in voting for the WNBL Team of the Year.

Her best performance was likely a 20-point, 21-rebound afternoon against previously-unbeaten Ipswich.

That game was capped by Stone banking in a buzzer-beater over the defense of Gonzaga-signee Esther Little, lifting Loughborough to a 77-76 win.

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Whether playing in Coupeville or Britain, Makana Stone is among the best on the hardwood.

The American assassin scores one more time.

Coupeville High School grad Makana Stone capped a whirlwind first season of overseas basketball by being named Friday to the Women’s National Basketball League Team of the Year in England.

Repping Loughborough University, the former Wolf finished second in WNBL coaches voting.

Harriet Welham, who led Ipswich to the league title, claimed Player of the Year honors for a second-straight season.

Stone, Esther Little of Ipswich, Isi Ozzy-Momodu of CoLA Southwark, and Sitota Gines Espinosa of Reading round out the All-League squad.

Three of the five honorees are from England, with Stone springing from Cow Town, USA, and Gines Espinosa a Spaniard.

Welham, who topped all WNBL scorers at 25.9 points per game, received five first-place votes from coaches, and 40 total points, with Stone edging out Little 24-23 in voting.

After graduating from Coupeville, Josh and Eileen Stone’s daughter had an impressive four-year run at Whitman College in Walla Walla, then headed off to the land of tea and crumpets, basketball in hand.

She had an immediate impact at Loughborough, helping the Riders go 13-6 and finish third in a 10-team league.

Loughborough, which advanced to the semifinals of the postseason tourney, was 13-4 when Stone suited up, and 0-2 without her.

Andre Stone’s lil’ sis hit the shot of the year — banking in a buzzer beater to KO Ipswich in the team’s first meeting — and routinely threw down double-doubles all season.

She finished with 270 points, 231 rebounds, 33 assists, 58 steals, and eight blocked shots.

 

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English basketball coaches were impressed by Makana Stone’s defensive skills. (Photo property Loughborough University)

They respect her game.

Coupeville’s Makana Stone was second in coach voting Tuesday, as England’s Women’s National Basketball League handed out Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Sitota Gines Espinosa of Reading, who led the league in steals, copped the award, finishing with 23 points and five first-place votes.

Stone, who suits up for Loughborough University, pulled in two first-place votes and 14 points.

Esther Little of Ipswich — who has signed to play with Gonzaga — Erica Meyer of Team Solent Kestrels, and Stone’s teammate, Robyn Ainge, round out the top five.

WNBL awards, which started Monday by honoring Loughborough and Thames Valley for best streaming of games, continue through Friday.

The next two days feature the Young (U19) Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and British Team of the Year.

Stone comes back into play Friday, when she is nominated for Player of the Year and Team of the Year.

After graduating from Whitman College, the former Wolf went overseas, playing in a league where schools are allowed one American player.

Playing in 17 of Loughborough’s 19 games, Stone finished with 270 points, 231 rebounds, 33 assists, 58 steals, and eight blocked shots.

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Coupeville’s Makana Stone had a strong season playing basketball in England. (Photo property Loughborough University)

It was a rough ending to a standout season.

Coupeville High School grad Makana Stone finished her first season of basketball in England on the bench after taking a nasty fall while hauling in a rebound during a Women’s National Basketball League semifinal playoff game.

Without its American assassin, who had 11 points and seven rebounds at the time of the incident, Loughborough University couldn’t hang on and fell 64-50 to host CoLA Southwark.

The loss left the Riders with a final record of 13-6, while the Pride advance to the WNBL championship game against regular-season kingpin Ipswich, which nipped Nottingham Trent 75-72.

The matchup between Loughborough and CoLA Southwark was a tense affair, with the Riders trailing just 42-36 when Stone was injured.

The Pride took advantage of the loss, closing the third quarter on a 7-0 tear to salt away the victory.

Playing in London, the two teams opened with a back-and-forth first quarter, with the hosts going to the break up 21-15.

A 13-13 stalemate in the second frame left the margin at six for Loughborough, and the Riders started strongly in the second half, with Stone slashing to the hoop for her final buckets of the season.

The former Wolf, who made the move to England after four standout seasons at Whitman College, played in 17 of Loughborough’s 19 games and was among the WNBL statistical leaders in several categories.

Stone finished with 270 points, 231 rebounds, 33 assists, 58 steals, and eight blocked shots.

While there are no more games on the schedule, she is in line for possible postseason honors, nominated for WNBL Player of the Year, Team of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year.

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It’s not really a Team of the Week unless Coupeville’s Makana Stone is there. (Photo property FocusHoops)

Ten times and counting.

Coupeville High School grad Makana Stone hit double-digits Tuesday, tabbed once again to the FocusHoops Team of the Week for her play on the hardwood.

The former Wolf, and current Loughborough University teammate Katie Januszewska, were among five players honored for their performances during Saturday’s Women’s National Basketball League playoff openers in England.

Stone, who finished with 19 points, nine rebounds, and three steals in a 72-63 win over Reading, came up huge in the fourth quarter.

Tossing in 11 points in the final frame, she led Loughborough on a 24-8 tear down the stretch, as the Riders turned a seven-point deficit into a convincing postseason win.

Now 13-5, Stone and Co. play CoLA Southwark in the WNBL semifinals this weekend, with a spot in the league title game at stake.

On the season, Coupeville’s progeny sits with 259 points, 224 rebounds, 33 assists, 57 steals and eight blocked shots.

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