Women's British Basketball League set for inaugural campaign
The inaugural Women's British Basketball League season will get under way on Saturday, with all 10 teams competing at Loughborough University over the weekend.
The format follows in a similar pattern to the men's BBL Championship, with play-offs after the regular season.
A WBBL Trophy will also be contested.
"We are making great strides in advocating the women's game and I only hope it catches like wildfire," Cardiff Met Archers' Stef Collins said.
"Basketball continues to rise in popularity and the formation of the WBBL will only help inspire our youth, creating greater bonds between communities involved with grassroots and participation, creating a catalyst effect in inviting girls and women to catch a game and see the standard of competition taking place."
|2014-15 WBBL Teams|
|Barking Abbey Crusaders||Manchester Mystics|
|Brixton Topcats||Nottingham Wildcats|
|Cardiff Met Archers||Team Northumbria|
|Leeds Beckett University||Sevenoaks Suns|
|Leicester Riders||City of Sheffield Hatters|
The WBBL, which runs until April, will be hoping to take advantage of a successful national team, with GB's women's team qualifying for next year's Eurobasket.
And Britain's most-capped player Collins believes that they are already reaping the rewards of the London 2012 Olympics, despite a funding cut.
"I truly believe the London Olympics has had a lasting impression on the UK," the 31-year-old said.
"We are seeing many more talented youths coming up through the systems, with plenty of players developing through the national team structures.
"It was great to see the England U16 women put together a great campaign this past summer to see themselves promoted from Division B.
"The development is crucial for the women's game to succeed, investing in the pathways to nurture home-grown talent will have a knock-on effect for top level women's basketball in this country."