The Jamaican Sunshine Girls took home the silver medal at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games (Picture: Jamaica Netball)

Back in Adelaide for pre-season training ahead of the Suncorp Super Netball season in March, young Jamaican defending sensation Latanya Wilson is using the experience from Birmingham’s silver medal campaign to continue to grow at the elite level.

Latanya Wilson is one of the best young defenders in the game, showing her wares on the Suncorp Super Netball stage for the past years as well as a recent call-up to the Jamaican Sunshine Girls.

The 22-year-old defender’s first major tournament was the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, where the Jamaicans truly stunned the netball world, taking home the silver medal against the heavyweights in New Zealand and England.

She spoke to media about the Commonwealth Games, her growing partnership with Shamera Sterling and her excitement at returning to Adelaide for the SSN season.

“My stand-out moment [of the off-season] would definitely be the Commonwealth Games with Jamaica,” Wilson explained.

“The energy and the camaraderie that we had between us, as players and just being back in the Jamaican environment [was fun].

“Culture-wise [within the team environment], we dance and all that stuff so [it] was just great and the fact that that was a big competition for me, my first ever big competition with Jamaica and [the fact that we won] a silver medal [that] is quite impressive, that was really fun.”

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In the Jamaican team, she continued to solidify her defensive partnership with Adelaide Thunderbirds teammate Shamera Sterling. Having made the move to the SSN prior to Wilson, Sterling has become a mentor for her.

“Working alongside of Shamera is just awesome and the experience and the knowledge that she has [is incredible] and to be able to pass that onto me is just amazing,” she said.

“She should be here very, very soon and I can’t wait for her arrival, I think it’s going to be much more fun given that she is from Jamaica and we can do some of our cultural stuff just between us, it will be nice to look forward to.”

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After retaining Sterling and Wilson in the off-season, as well as recruiting England Roses star shooter Eleanor Cardwell, the Thunderbirds look to be one of the teams that most netball supporters will be excited to watch this year. Wilson speaks about how she feels ahead of another SSN season in pink.

“I’m excited to be back, my host family is actually happy to have me back and I’m actually settling in so [well] so I’m excited. [Pre-season] is definitely fun however it’s intense work, I don’t mind intense but it’s [also] fun.”

“I am so excited [for the season], the fact that are a young team and [we] are quite talented, I’m just excited for the season to kick off given that we have so much potential.”

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