Today (04/02/21), we celebrate the birthday of Eboni Usoro-Brown as the England Netball Hall of Famer turns 33!
2020 was a difficult year for the world and for the Netball Family but it was a special one for Eboni as she gave birth to her first child, Savannah, in August.
The Commonwealth champion is a fearless competitor and not long after she had her daughter, Eboni began a training programme in order to star for Team Bath Netball once again in the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the court and having Savannah in the crowd, cheering me along with her gurgles,” she said ahead of her 11th campaign with the club.
“I’m absolutely loving motherhood, Savannah is an absolute delight although the early mornings are definitely taking some getting used to! It’s been such a joy welcoming her into the world and sharing this occasion with my family, friends and the netball community.
“My social media has been inundated with well wishes and congratulations which I really appreciate, especially from the Team Bath family so thank you very much.”
Last year also saw Eboni inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Vitality Goalden Globe Awards 2020 with former Olympic champion Denise Lewis and fellow inductee Mary Beardwood presenting her with the honour.
That was in recognition of her tremendous international career that began against Malawi in 2008, with the most recent chapter coming at the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 in Liverpool.
She secured her 100th cap in the red dress, dominating the defensive end in an emphatic 56-48 victory over Jamaica as the hosts went on to claim bronze for the third consecutive Netball World Cup – all squads that Eboni was a part of.
And she reflected on what it was like playing in front of a home crowd on This Was My World Cup with Zara Buck: “It was absolutely incredible, I think those are the moments as an athlete you really live for,” she said.
“Never mind having a 12-player squad, it feels like almost a thousand-player squad because everyone was screaming and shouting and supporting us but to be fair, it started even before that even before we arrived at the venue.
“We were obviously staying opposite the rose garden and I remember waking up on the first morning when the competition was going to start and seeing the thousands of fans camped out in front of the screen.
“We’ve never seen netball like that before, especially in the UK so to see the level of support and everyone was decked out in their red Nike hoodies and you could feel a kind of sense of excitement and the atmosphere was really building. So to step out on court for the first time to hear the cheer to hear the roar, it was absolutely electric.”
As well as her three Netball World Cup bronze medals, Eboni was a member of the legendary squad that defeated Australia on the Gold Coast in 2018 to clinch gold at the Commonwealth Games for the first time in English netball history.
She has also tasted domestic glory having won four VNSL titles during her first spell with Team Bath before departing for the ANZ Premiership where she represented West Coast Fever and Adelaide Thunderbirds.
Returning to Bath in 2015, she has captained the side for the Blue and Gold for the last four seasons and will be integral to any success they enjoy in 2021.