Hatters duo star in Europe

Hatters' young England players Jo Lowry and Georgia Gayle

Hatters' young England players Jo Lowry and Georgia Gayle

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City of Sheffield Hatters players Jo lowry and Georgia Gayle are back home from the European Basketball Championships.

Both were key players with England Basketball this summer in their respective age group teams.

Georgia Gayle featured for England Under-18 in Romania, while Jo Lowry earned her first cap with the Under-16s in Estonia.

Seven weeks of tough training and preparation tournaments around Europe preceded the European Championships during July and August, so both have worked extremely hard but thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

England Under-16 won the silver medal after losing to Germany in a closely contested final, with both teams remaining unbeaten and dominant throughout the previous 10 days of the tournament.

England have now earned promotion into the top European Division which is a massive achievement considering the lack of funding in the sport.

Jo, a regular starter for England and her club team Hatters, went from strength to strength, controlling the ball on offence and demonstrating great defensive capabilities.

It was a different story for England Under-18. They started off very strongly in their pool games, progressing on to the top eight play-offs but then faced the giants of European basketball Hungary (who came third in the World Championships and were eventual winners of the Euro tournament.

Unfortunately England were unable to secure another win in the tournament and finished eighth out of 17 teams.

Although the team performance overall was not good, Georgia was consistent throughout the campaign, top scoring for England and ranked 22nd in the tournaments leading scorers.

Hatters chairman Betty Codona said: “We are extremely proud of both players who have been a credit to both their country and our club.

“Both players have worked extremely hard all season, on and off the court, as they balance their basketball with schoolwork and examinations.

“We look forward to next season and their continued development within our programme which will prepare them for another campaign with England next summer. Developing home grown talent is the key to our continued success as players like Jo and Georgia move on and up into our top womens team.”

If anyone would like to sponsor either player next season or join the Hatters please contact lorainegayle@hotmail.com for further details .