Team News

2015/16 ROBYN MAHER DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

March 2016

Def

Steph Cumming of the Dandenong Rangers has been named the Wattle Valley WNBL Robyn Maher Defensive Player of the Year for 2015/16, as voted by coaches and captains from all nine clubs.

Cumming accumulated 25 votes from a possible 48, beating second-placed Louella Tomlinson of the Perth Lynx and Bendigo Spirit’s Kelsey Griffin who finished third.

“It was very unexpected, I was quite surprised,” said Cumming.

In her 10th WNBL season, the guard returned to Dandenong after two seasons and a Championship with the Townsville Fire.

She played her junior basketball with the Rangers and had also previously represented them in the WNBL in 2006/07 and from 2009-13.

The guard finished third for the club in steals and helped Dandenong to have the best three-point defence in the league, holding oppositions to 31% shooting.

“I try to take pride in every aspect of my game but as part of [coach] Larissa Anderson’s game-plan she was really focused on defence and I guess that came through,” said Cumming.

She admits there are at least three or four flat-out scorers in each team in the league so it was difficult to pinpoint specific tough assignments but together with Anderson, they would work out a defensive plan before each game.

“Larissa would go through match-ups with us and most weeks we would have a chat about it and who I would prefer to play on and then she would chip in with who she thought would be best.

“We’ve got a wealth of experience in our coaching staff and everyone looks at things a little differently and having their different views helped me the most.”

Cumming’s performance at the offensive end makes her one of the most competent two-way players in the league as she averages 15.8 points (eighth in the WNBL) and 2.6 assists (15th). However, she is happy to be known as a shutdown player.

“I never really thought of myself as a defensive player but I always take pride in it and not wanting to be beaten.”

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