Story by Melanie Whelan and photo by Kate Healy at www.thecourier.com.au
Emerging Rush basketballer Kasey Burton is absorbing as much as she can from the Melbourne Boomers’ camp.
The 18-year-old has juggled training sessions with year 12 studies since September, but now the exams are finished, Burton can focus on fine-tuning her game as a Boomers development player.
“It’s such an amazing experience. I’m training with girls who have just competed at worlds,” she said.
“I’m mainly behind the bench (on game nights) watching, observing and learning as much as I can.”
Burton often lugged her training bags along to school with all her books to ensure she could make a quick getaway when the final bell rang to reach training on time.
But she says it was definitely worth it.
The Boomers had finished pre-season work and moved into game-specific training when Burton joined and she has loved learning different offensive ways to come off the screen.
She was invited to try out via Boomers head coach Guy Molloy, the former Miners coach and Ballarat Basketball elite performance manager.
“I used to do individuals with Guy and love him as a coach. He always helped my confidence, so it’s great to work with him again,” Burton said.
Her selection follows a standout season with Ballarat Rush in the South East Australian Basketball League in which she started to log solid game time in 24 starts.
Rush pre-season training is already under way twice a week, but Burton said Rush coach Peter Cunningham had allowed her to miss some sessions to ease her training workload.
However, Burton still tries to make as many Rush sessions as she can.
Rush’s connection with the Boomers was strengthened on Friday with the signings of Jess May and Shanae Greaves for next season.
Both were happy to already have Burton as a familiar face about the Minerdome.