'Right direction' - British Basketball legend Georgia Anderson on All-Star selection, motherhood and funding

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'HERstory' was made in London with the first ever Women's All-Star taking place in WBBL

TeamGB legend and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Georgia Anderson captained the North roster in the inaugural Women’s All-Star clash. Unfortunately, she was not to be on the winning side but the Manchester Giants star formed an incredible part of an historic day with her husband, Jamell Anderson, featuring in the men’s North All-Stars Roster. 

However, there was one more Anderson who was spotted on the day with the pair’s daughter forming part of both men and Women’s medal celebrations. 

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Harper, who recently turned one, stole the hearts of all 5,000 fans at the Copperbox Arena as she looked around at both parents receiving All-Star medals - an event that her mother hopes to become a formative memory. 

Speaking exclusively to NationalWorld after the game, the point guard said of the experience: “She’s the best thing to see after a game win or lose, that picks you up! Hopefully she’ll be able to look back on and think that was really cool. The fact that Dad’s playing as well is just a bonus.”

Anderson is a legend of British Basketball and, as of August 2023 was leading the WBBL in all-time Regular Season assists (942) and steals (255).  The 33-year-old was part of the team that won the 2018 Commonwealth Games Silver Medal in the Gold Coast with England as well as forming part of one of the most successful Great Britain National Teams in history, leading the side to fourth place at EuroBasket 2019 in Latvia. 

To mark her phenomenal achievements in the sport, the fans unsurprisingly selected her in their North All-Stars squad and the point guard confessed: “it’s been really fun to be a part of, and being voted in was really nice as well. I’ve been around for quite a long time and although I got married and changed my name, I think people know who I am! It’s still really nice that people rewarded me for that I guess. I really appreciate it.”

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Two WBBL and British Basketball legends in Anderson (L) and Beckford-Norton (R)Two WBBL and British Basketball legends in Anderson (L) and Beckford-Norton (R)
Two WBBL and British Basketball legends in Anderson (L) and Beckford-Norton (R)

Last summer Anderson returned to the Manchester Giants following a season out following the birth of her first child and the WBBL star spoke of the challenges faced with a return to the court, but praised the inspriational figures who faced a similar battle before her. 

“It’s definitely been a struggle!”, Anderson admitted. “She’s just turned one so things are getting somewhat easier, we kind of know what we’re doing a bit more now. I’ve got so much support. Seeing a lot of people do it before me, gave me confidence to be able to do it.”

With Anderson’s husband also a BBL superstar - having won two BBL Cups, one BBL Trophy and representing Great Britain at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Georgia has first hand experience of how different the men and women’s teams are viewed and prioritised. 

When asked how long it might be until more parity can be seen, the points guard remarked: “Good question! We are moving in the right direction but there’s obviously loads to do. 

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“It’s great that we have so many fans here and I think it was good that it was on the same day - encouraging people to come to both games. All we’ve got to do is just keep performing on the court and showing that it’s a quality product and hopefully people will pay attention to that, respect that and start following. 

“(With Women’s Basketball) you kind of have to look at it like a different sport. There’s so many good qualities but if you start looking at it expecting to see dunks and super athletic players - yes we are athletes and yes we are athletic - but actually when you look at basketball, the strategy behind the women’s game is actually really impressive - ball movement, how we play together and I think if you start looking at what we’re really good at you will enjoy it.”

Described by the BBL CEO Aaron Radin as ‘wildly under-monetised’, NationalWorld also probed Anderson on how we can reach an improvement on the funding the sport receives. At the moment, sports such as equestrian receive five times the amount of Government funding Basketball receives and as of 2020, the salary cap in the BBL stood at a net amount of £250,000. 

The NBA, by comparison, had a 2020-21 salary cap of £85.74 million. 

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“It’s another good question!”, Anderson exclaimed. “It’s the same for the national team. I’ve been involved with the national team for so long. It’s hard because all you can do as players is keep trying to perform and get results. 

“But even when you get the results it doesn’t necessarily follow through so I think trying to shine a light on it as much as possible. Having the media attention is great, but yeah all we can do as players is keep putting the product out there, keep shouting about it and hopefully people start to take notice and appreciate what we’re doing."

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