Coup for Rush, Rinaldi to return

In an exciting and surprising move the Auslec Ballarat Rush President Nick Grylewicz today announced the re-signing of the Rush 2013 captain Kristy Rinaldi.

Back in August the Auslec Ballarat Rush captain and two-time MVP winner announced her retirement from the Rush at the Ballarat Basketball Annual Awards Dinner.

Back then Rinaldi acknowledged that the current season had been her toughest and despite a very challenging year for the team it won through to the Conference Grand Final only to be beaten by Knox.

At the Presentation Dinner Rush head Coach Peter Cunningham stated that Rinaldi’s talent, professionalism and dedication set her apart as a leader in the team.

Rinaldi was the Rush’s second-best scorer and third-best rebounder in 2013 with 15 points and seven rebounds per game, a career best for her.

She was a clutch player and was always reliable late in close games, hitting numerous big shots throughout the season.

Rinaldi has played 190 games in the South East Australian Basketball League, starting when the Rush entered the competition in 2003 as the Lady Miners.

She was appointed captain in 2011 and she has been has been a very positive role model for younger players, showing outstanding dedication and passion for the game.

In announcing Rinaldi’s return to the Rush Club President Nick Grylewicz stated that Kristy has been a major part of our women’s program for a long time “she’s been a great competitor over the years and just continues to get better season after season”.”

It is understood that Rinaldi turned back strong offers from other clubs to return to the Rush.

Rinaldi is currently playing with the Adelaide Lighting in the National Women’s Basketball League as a Development Player and is really enjoying the opportunity to work on her game six days a week as a full time athlete.

In announcing her decision to sign with the Rush Rinaldi added “I’m very excited to return to Ballarat to continue my SEABL career with the Rush. I believe the club is moving forward in a positive direction and has implemented some changes for next season which attracted me to return to the club”.

“I’m sitting on about 193 games and to be able to play out 200+ games for my home town is something I can be very proud of. There are not many players left in the competition now that stay at the one club”.

“I’m also looking forward to returning to the court with Nya Mason. Not only a great team mate but a fantastic person”.

In the last two weeks Rinaldi and Nya Mason, two of the key bookends of the Rush program, have re-committed to the Ballarat program and this gives the club a very solid base to build from in 2014.

With key junior players such as Bronte Clark, Sophie Alexander and Abbey Wehrung benefitting from the development and court time they had this year the club will be confident of maintaining and building on its Conference finalist result they achieved this year.

The Rush Teams Committee hope to finalise recruitment and the full playing roster by Christmas and these two announcements in the past week have certainly put this goal well within the clubs reach.

Peter Eddy
–0409 017 807