Chinese Taipei National player Joy Burke will return to the Ballarat Rush in 2019 for her fourth season.
Basketball Ballarat is yet to determine if Burke will play under her American or Chinese name Hsi-Le Bao, with the new Basketball Victoria Elite League finalising their rules around the number of imports and where they are born.
Burke in 2018 averaged 29 minutes per game while also averaging a double, double with 14.1 points and 11.65 rebounds per game in 2018. She was also the league leading rebounder with a total of 233 rebounds for the season seven more than Nadeen Payne who played in four more games than Burke.
Rush Head Coach Eric Hayes said “It is great for the Rush to retain Joy, there are not many 196cm players in the competition so she is a key player for us.” Hayes added “Joy finished last season strongly and we will be looking to build on that in 2019”.
Burke commented “I feel incredibly grateful to the Ballarat Basketball community for another opportunity to play for the Rush.” Burke continued “I’m looking forward to some of the exciting opportunities this next season brings with the new league, new basketball stadium, and getting to learn from Brendan Joyce. Brendan’s decorated coaching experience speaks for itself, especially on the international level, and I believe he along with Eric Hayes will greatly benefit our team as well as help my game improve tremendously.”
Chair of the Rush Elite Teams sub-committee Lynly Doherty said “We are so pleased that Joy is coming back, she is a wonderful person on and off the court.” Doherty added “securing Joy has been of high priority, she is integral to not only our on court team but all the work she does within the Ballarat community and we can’t wait for her to arrive in Ballarat”.
Finally Burke added “Ultimately, I’ve decided to return to the Rush for another season because I love the community, and I believe in the direction of the program under the leadership of Coach Eric Hayes. We have unfinished business, and I can’t wait to see all we can accomplish together on and off the court this year.”
Burke will return to Australia in early February where she will resume her community ambassador role before the new Basketball Victoria Elite League commences at the end of March.
For more information on the GMHBA Miners or Ballarat Skoda Rush please contact Elite Teams Administrator Melissa Thomas via 5330 7604 or Melissa.Thomas@ballaratbasketball.com