Even by her coach’s admission, Catherine Ebanks’ big shoulders carried her team, the Lynx, to second place in the Cayman Islands U-19 Girls League.
So it was only fitting that she earned the Most Value Player and Scoring Champion titles for the regular season.
Ebanks secured her MVP title by averaging 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 steals per game. She also netted an impressive 157 points to take the Scoring Championship award.
The season could not have ended on a better note. With her 19th birthday coming just five days after the league championship, it was a high point on which to celebrate her retirement from the U-19 Girls league.
This, however, is not the end of this young woman’s basketball career.
Ebanks will continue to play in the Cayman Islands Basketball Association’s National Women’s League and has been a member of Cayman Islands national women’s team for the past three years. She is preparing to compete with the women’s national team in her second Island Games this July.
She has been playing organised basketball for the past six years, starting out under the tutelage of National Technical Director Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro and more recently, under Redver Ebanks, coach of the national women’s team.
Catherine praised both coaches, saying: ‘I have learnt a lot from Coach Voot and Redver. They have helped to instil confidence in me and have insisted that education should be my top priority.’
Speaking with pride of her first major awards in this season’s basketball league, she said: ‘I conquered this league and now I am going to earn my stripes in CIBA’s Women National League.
‘I worked really hard for these awards and I am happy that the Association keeps track of the statistics. I love basketball because when I am on the court all my worries go away. It’s a thrill being in the game. All I can think about is giving it my best.’
Collin Anglin, who shares coaching duties of the Lynx team with his wife, Dion noted that Catherine was the only player on the team with at least three years experience.
‘She showed that she had some very broad shoulders this season and because of her experience was very encouraging to her teammates, who for the most part, are still new to the game.’
Anglin credits the Lynx’s good showing to Catherine’s abilities. ‘There’s no question about it; without her controlling the ball for our team we would have been in big trouble this season,’ he said.
‘She definitely had the greatest impact on the team and still managed to win the scoring title. Throughout the season, most teams double-teamed her and she still found a way to score.
‘She is a good player, with a good personality and is a good person all around.’