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Awesome Alicia is basketball champion

Sheffield Hatters basketball star Alicia Vann is on the winning team.

Ridgewood student Alicia Vann is shirt number 10 for the Sheffield Hatters U12 basketball team.

This season has been their most successful to date, and just last Sunday the team took their third gold in the finals of the Northern League playoffs, beating Manchester Mystics 42-32 and Northants Lightning 47-45.

The weekend before, Alicia and her teammates travelled to Ireland and took victory in the John Hays Tournament in Waterford, earning a massive seven victories over the two days of the tournament.

They were also successful in becoming the Yorkshire Mixed League champions, beating rivals Doncaster Eagles and Sheffield Sharks to grab the gold. 

Alicia and her team know that their incredible season has come about from plenty of hard work. At least twice a week Alicia travels to training in Sheffield. This means leaving straight from school and not arriving home until after 7pm. Thanks to her dedication to her sport and her studies, along with her family's support, Alicia has shown she can continue this tough schedule and keep up with her school work.

Basketball has been something Alicia has done since seriously since Year 3. Her involvement in the sport began with coach Bob Martin in Doncaster, and she was soon talent spotted by Betty Codona, the original force behind the Hatters. Betty is now 81 but is still hugely involved with team, having helped it become the biggest, oldest and most successful women's basketball team in the country. Alicia and the Hatters are now coached by Betty's daughter Loraine Gayle, and her grandson Tyler Gayle, continuing the family traditions of hard work and success for the club.

Alicia is not the only Ridgewood connection to the Hatters. Helen Naylor, a former Ridgewood student, scored to take the final for the team with just seven seconds left on the clock.

We can't wait to hear more about Alicia's basketball career and her success with the Hatters. A huge well done to Alicia and all her team mates.