International Superstar Joy Burke will return to the Rush in 2018

The Ballarat Skoda Rush would like to announce, with joy, that Joy Burke will be returning in 2018. Joy played a major role for the Rush this year, whilst also maintaining her position at the International level.

This will be Burke’s third consecutive SEABL season with the Rush, a decision that Joy herself is really excited about. Joy will be spending most of the off season getting her mind and body right for the upcoming 2018 SEABL season, after spending some time with her family in Dallas.

Last season Joy had a dramatic impact on the court with the Rush, where she averaged a double-double for the season. She had 14.1 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists a game.

Newly appointed Ballarat Skoda Head Coach Eric Hayes can’t wait to have Joy back on the court; “I am extremely happy that Joy has re-signed with the Rush for season 2018.  Joy is a very strong weapon for our team as she does a great job offensively providing a consistent target inside, she is one of the leading rebounders in the competition and defensively she alters so many shots. She is a great teammate and leader in the group by example and verbally gives feedback to players.”

Hayes was also quick to compliment Burke’s profile off the court “Joy is also a great mentor and role model for our junior players as she is just a quality person to have around the club. Having her back is a huge positive for us on and off the court!”

On re-signing with the Rush, Burke said “I am so excited Coach Eric Hayes was appointed as the Rush Head Coach for this upcoming season. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him due to his incredible passion and knowledge of the game that has developed over the countless years he has given to the game of basketball.”

Joy is also looking forward to working more with Hayes this coming season, noting that last season “throughout the success of the Miners’ program last season, he was always the Rush’s biggest fan, not only would he always cheer the loudest at our games, I remember him sacrificing his rare evenings off to come watch Rush training sessions and always willing to offer encouragement.”

Burke is relishing the opportunity to play in the SEABL again for a third time with the Ballarat Skoda Rush. “I am looking forward to being back in Australia in just a few months to start preparing for the Ballarat Rush to have one of our best seasons yet!”

Joy’s community presence is also really important in Ballarat, “I’m really excited to continue as the Community Ambassador and Community Programs Manager for Basketball Ballarat. I feel honoured to be able to have this role and have some exciting ideas for next year to further empower the next generations as well as continuing to give back to our community.” Joy said.

Basketball Ballarat Senior Elite Teams Rush Chair Simon Cornwell said “Joy’s commitment both on and off the court is greatly valued by the Basketball Ballarat community. The signing of Eric and Joy adds to our momentum finishing the 2017 season and will lead us well into the 2018 season. With this momentum we expect many more re-signings in the near future.” He also added “The Rush will be very competitive and will endeavour to make the play offs in 2018.”

Mr Cornwell also mentioned Joy’s teammates won’t be the only people that benefit. “With Joy being back, we look forward to greater community participation in 2018 with Ballarat and the surrounding area.”

Joy will spend the summer back at Arizona State University, as a host interpreter and program support for a college program for coaches from China to learn from the American coaches. Joy’s days will consist of translating coaching seminars from English to Chinese. Joy will be able to continue to train at the University’s facilities, before returning to Ballarat in January to commence her role with Basketball Ballarat as the Community Programs Coordinator and preparing for the 2018 SEABL season.

For more information on the GMHBA Miners or Ballarat Skoda Rush please contact Elite Teams Administrator Melissa Thomas via 5330 7604 or [email protected]