UEL Scholar Holly Winterburn Stars in WBBL Cup Final
31 January 2023
London Lions completed a clean sweep of the BBL and WBBL cup finals last weekend after they became the first club to have competed in both men's and women's finals in 35 years.
Despite being the favourites for both matches, the men's side had to hold strong before beating Leicester Riders 79-71 and giving University of East London Scholar Bradley Kaboza his first BBL cup.
However it was another sport scholar who stole the show in the women’' final. Sports, Physical Education and Sport Development student Holly Winterburn joined the UEL in 2021 and has since balanced her studies alongside playing for London Lions.
Having won MVP in last years WBBL Trophy final, Holly put in an inspired performance against her old side with 16 pts, 9 ast and 5 rebs to help the Lions win yet another trophy.
The women’s side looked comfortable in a 95-42 win over Leicester which also featured graduate Paige Robinson.
"It was definitely extra motivation (playing her old team)," Winterburn said in the post-game press conference. "We did our talking on the court. We’re going to stay at the top, stay at that level and it’s up to everyone else to come and join us."
The 22-year-old’s stock continues to rise as she became the first player to win the WBBL Cup three times.
Having already made her GB senior debut and played in Europe for the first time with Lions it will remain to be seen what the next accolade for Holly shall be.
First on the radar will be the upcoming Women’s EuroBasket qualifiers as Great Britain face Estonia and Portugal in a double header next week.
Beyond that Holly will have challenges of a different nature to excel against as she continues studying for her degree. Despite her sporting success, it’s a great testament to Holly’s character that she’s been able to balance basketball alongside her academic work.
I think its definitely a skill to be able to do both,” she said. “I love my life in London and the support I’ve been given by UEL and London Lions to be able to play basketball alongside my degree is something I couldn’t be happier with."
The UEL High Performance Programme allows talented athletes to build a Dual Career combining their sporting careers alongside boosting their employability.
Holly was full of praise for how being a sports scholar has helped her, adding "flexibility from my teachers, extension dates and just leniency in different ways has helped so much to get me to where I am now."
If you would like to hear more about the University of East London’s High Performance Programme visit our website.
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