Roy Ward on Ballarat Rush’s Shanae Greaves plus the media wrap-up.
When you have Shanae Greaves’ playing experience – you learn to take the good with the bad.
At just 22 years of age, she has already played over 100 SEABL games and this summer will play her third WNBL season when she runs out again with Melbourne Boomers.
Playing in the WNBL at all has been a highlight for Greaves who was invited to train with the Boomers ahead of Guy Molloy’s first season at the club. Her hard work brought her into the team then a very untimely injury to star centre Chelsea Poppins just ahead of the finals gave her an even greater opportunity.
When the Boomers ran out against Townsville Fire in the elimination final, Greaves was starting at centre against superstar Suzy Batkovic.
The team battled hard and lost that game, somewhat controversially, in the final minutes but Greaves has kept on with the team becoming a solid backup centre.
This past WNBL season she even played out her own childhood dream when she took the court against Lauren Jackson when the Boomers played University of Canberra Capitals.
“This is what I had been dreaming about since primary school,” Greaves said.
“My mum reminded me after the game that in my grade six questionnaire there was a question about what do you want to be when you grow up and I had answered I want to play WNBL against Lauren Jackson – who would have thought it would happen?”
This SEABL season has been one of major changes for Greaves.
As a long time Knox Raiders player, she had to find a new club to play with due to the Raiders’ decision not to field senior teams this season.
With a nudge from Molloy, Greaves joined Boomers’ teammates Olivia Thompson and Jess May in travelling west to Ballarat Rush.
“It’s been a nice change but Knox has always been my home so I’m still getting used to it,” Greaves admitted.
“I grew up five minutes from Knox stadium so I’ve never had to travel before – it makes you appreciate what people like Kelly Wilson or Gabe Richards had to do when they were coming from Bendigo to play with Knox.”
Off court Greaves said the Rush players, coaches and committee had welcomed the trio and been of fantastic support.
On court the Rush have had their struggles with a 1-10 [win-loss] record.
Last week the Rush decided to release May and play their youngsters more.
Greaves said it was tough to see her friend depart and frustrating the team had not found a way to win.
“It has been really frustrating, we’ve been trying to pinpoint it for a while,” Greaves said.
“We needed to work on our chemistry and getting to know each other and how to play with each other.
“It’s not going the way I would have hoped which is disappointing but we’re still trying to work on it but you can’t just keep working on it because it’s not the start of the season anymore.
“It’s time for us to go and win a few games.”
Greaves added she will miss May’s singing voice on their drives between Boronia and Ballarat.
“It will be rough but I’m about to start a six-week placement in Melton for my occupation therapy studies so we weren’t going to be travelling together for that time,” Greaves said.
“I will miss her signing voice, our sing-alongs in the car can’t be matched.”
Like so many players who switch between the WNBL and SEABL, Greaves is required to be more of a scorer for the Rush compared to her more rebound and defend role with the Boomers.
“I’m just trying to have more of a scorers mentality,” Greaves said.
“At Knox we didn’t have a huge roster so I had a bit of a taste of needing to be a main scorer but I haven’t made that transition yet from being a role player.
“In the WNBL I come in and play hard then jump back onto the bench so it’s difficult to try and make myself be less selfless and be more of a scorer.
“I’m still not set in that mentality.”
Greaves is actually scoring at a SEABL career best average of 12.2 points along with 6.5 rebounds and has a season-high of 20 points so she is making some improvement on being more assertive.
Having seen what persistence can do for a player, Greaves said she still believed the Rush could become a winning side.
“We are hoping to build on some good play recently and get a few wins,” Greaves said.
“Once we do that I feel we have the roster to go on from there and do well.”
SEABL media links
*The Examiner reports on Launceston coach Reece Potter’s coach of the month award. Report, picture: http://www.examiner.com.au/story/3128685/coaching-accolade-for-potter/?cs=96
*Border Mail’s Steve Smith (@Stevesmithffx) reports on Lady Bandits teenage star Montana Farrah-Seaton who has made Australia’s under-19 side. Report, picture: http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/3113982/border-star-makes-under-19-squad/?cs=10
*The Courier’s Melanie Whelan (@Melanie_Whelan) reports on the Rush releasing Jess May. Report: http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/3129838/basketball-rush-cuts-jess-may-mid-season/?cs=63
Roy Ward (@rpjward) is a freelance sports writer who has covered the NBA, NBL, WNBL, SEABL and Big V during his career. He will be filing weekly columns on the SEABL men’s and women’s competitions during this season. For feedback or suggestions send Roy a tweet or email him at email@example.com