Harvey Norman Ballarat Rush have added to their team for the 2016 South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) season with the re-signing of locals Sophie Alexander and Kasey Burton.
22 year old Alexander, is very excited about re-joining the Rush for her sixth season having begun her career in 2011. “I just love it, not just the basketball but all of it” Alexander elaborated “The team environment, the fans, the sponsors and the community work that we get to do as well, it’s all just great and so enjoyable”.
Alexander missed a few games in 2015 having dislocated her shoulder mid-way through the season. Despite this set back, Alexander still managed to average over 15 minutes a game. Although her stats were down for the year Alexander has undergone shoulder surgery in the off season preparing her to be ready to get back to her form of 2014, where she averaged over six points and three rebounds a game as well as taking the court on average more than 21 minutes per game.
In contrast, Burton (19), has re-signed on the back of her best SEABL season yet. Burton missed just one game when she was attending the under 19 Australian camp and managed to average 27.5 minutes a game as well as collecting on average of nearly seven points and five rebounds per game.
Burton is currently in her second season as a development player with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers in the Women’s National Basketball League and got her first taste of minutes last weekend. “It was such a surreal feeling, ever since I could remember I have wanted to play WNBL and to get the chance to do it with girls I have looked up to was great”.
Elite Teams Administrator Melissa Thomas has expressed how pleased the club is to have both Alexander and Burton back, “Sophie and Kasey have continued to develop through our program”. Thomas continued “It’s great that our first four Rush signings for 2016 are all locals who demonstrate the pathway available for all players to go from the Ballarat Representative Program right through to SEABL”.
Neither Alexander or Burton have been coached by the recently appointed Rush Head Coach David Flint with Burton adding “I am really looking forward to it, we have had some sessions on Wednesday nights which are good and helping us get used to Dave’s style of play”. Alexander was equally excited “It’s definitely going to be different with Dave but we still have Gov (Assistant Coach Darren Govan) around which keeps some familiarity”.
Both Rush and Miners Elite Team Committees are working hard to secure the remaining members of their 2016 squads. Thomas added “I would expect that the bulk of the squads will be finalised before Christmas with only a few gaps to fill early in the New Year.” Thomas finished with “stay tuned to the Basketball Ballarat website and Miners and Rush Facebook page to keep up to date with all the team signings.”