By Kasey Cornwell
The Ballarat Rush are boosted this year, with the addition of 6’5’’ import Joy Burke, she hopes to take the team to new heights this season.
Joy Burke returns to Australia after a short break back home in the U.S. Joy feels really familiar with Ballarat, as she was based nearby in Bendigo, for the past WNBL season with the Bendigo Spirit.
Joy comes from a successful family, both academically and athletically, with her younger brother TJ currently playing College basketball and even has had a stint in acting, making a stellar shampoo commercial aged only 4.
Burke was grateful to have a small three week break in between seasons, as she has almost a year of basketball with her commitments with the Taiwanese national team and a season in Denmark. Joy felt like she was on a “basketball marathon” and it was the option to be able to go home and take her mind off basketball, that helped her to refresh and has excited her to dive right into this season.
Joy comes off a stellar WNBL season for the Bendigo Spirit under coach Dave Flint, and he was a major motivator for Joy to make the move back to Australia and play for the Rush. Joy said she just knew that if she was to play basketball in Australia, it had to be for Dave. She describes Coach Flint’s coaching style as positive and finds him easy to communicate with. Joy and David are able to relate, both coming from basketball backgrounds in the United States, Burke thinks he is able to understand the difficulties and challenges she faces. Dave could not be a more perfect fit as a coach for Joy in this stage of her career.
Her season at the Bendigo Spirit, taught her many things and she feels blessed to have learnt from outstanding WNBL players such as Kelsey Griffin and Gabe Richards.
Burke is excited about the Rush’s line-up this year, and thinks the new additions to the team have been selected perfectly, and she knows that the team has confidence in Flint as coach.
Heading into the season opener, Burke is optimistic about the games ahead. She sees no reason as to why the team can’t make it all the way, and thinks they are right there with the rest of the competition. She knows the team will come together nicely and adjust well to each other. Joy is hopeful that her and the team will stay healthy and start and finish the season strong.
See Joy Burke and the Ballarat Rush take on Bendigo in the SEABL season opener on 1 April 2016, tip off at 6:00pm at the Mars Minerdome.