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Mathews Has Spirit

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HARVEY Norman Ballarat Rush young gun Molly Mathews has signed her first WNBL contract signing on with Bendigo Spirit for season 2015/16. Mathews has played all 21 games in the 2015 South Eastern Australian Basketball League (SEABL) and has averaged 18 minutes a game which is a significant increase on the seven minutes she averaged in 2014.

Mathews attend the Bendigo Spirit development player tryout at the beginning of August hoping to gain experience and understanding of what it takes to get a look at a development spot on a WNBL roster. Taking in a lot from the tryouts Mathews didn’t think she had done enough to get a spot at had planned on working hard over the SEABL off season to continue to push for more minutes next season. That was until Bendigo Spirit Head Coach Simon Pritchard came and watched her play for the Harvey Norman Ballarat Rush against Nunawading Lady Spectres last weekend. At the conclusion of the game when the Rush girls and team support went to celebrate the win Mathews could not be seen in the change room. She was talking to Pritchard who on the spot offered her a rostered position at the Spirit for season 2015/16.

Mathews grew up playing basketball from age eight where she joined the Celtic Tigers Basketball Club. Having always been tall basketball was the perfect sport. Mathews worked her way through the Ballarat Representative Program and represented Basketball Victoria Country on three occasions as a top age under 16 and as both bottom and top age under 18. Mathews also went on to represent Australia at the under 19 Oceania qualifiers in New Caledonia during 2010. When asked who was the first person you told? Mathews responded with “Gov” referring to Rush assistant coach Darren Govan as her parents new of the news before she did. Mathews is excited about this new opportunity stating “I have always strived to play at the highest level I could”. Mathews continued with “I am very excited about playing for such and elite club and playing for a coaching staff that will bring the best out of me. But the main thing would be seeing improvement in my game, and excelling in areas of which I lack.” Basketball Ballarat Elite Teams Administrator Melissa Thomas said “It is a credit to Molly to receive this spot, the work she has put in this year with Darren Govan doing two extra sessions a week has resulted in more minutes as well as this opportunity in front of her now.”

Although the Harvey Norman Rush have no more home games this year Ballarat can catch Mathews in action when she returns to the MARS® MINERDOME to face off against Rush team mates Shanae Greaves, Olivia Thompson and Kasey Burton when the Melbourne Boomers take on the Bendigo Spirit on September 19 from 7pm.