Roy Ward talks to Kelly Bowen of the Frankston Lady Blues and covers this week’s big plays as well as the media wrap-up.
Playing for Frankston Blues in the SEABL was at the top of a young Kelly Bowen’s wish list.
Like many other SEABL players, Bowen grew up watching her local club play and wanted to follow them into senior basketball.
Turns out she has done plenty more than that after playing US college basketball with Gonzaga and more recently playing in the WNBL with Townsville Fire and Melbourne Boomers.
“I would go to every Frankston SEABL game when I was a kid and that was my dream as a junior – I wanted to play in the SEABL women’s team and now that I’m doing it I have a lot of pride and passion for the club,” Bowen said.
“My goal is still to lead Frankston to a SEABL championship one day.”
This season, Bowen has taken her game to great new levels averaging 23.4 points per game and pulling in 10.4 rebounds as well – she even had a 42-point outburst against Launceston earlier in the campaign.
The 25-year old says her great numbers have come out of necessity and also from looking to get the most out of herself while playing for her home club.
“We have copped it a bit because Maddie Garrick has been out [with Australian duties] so everyone has had to do a little bit more and I had to pick up some more scoring,” Bowen said.
“I’ve been trying to do my best and I’ve had some good games and some bad games – now we just want to try and win some games so we can feel good at the end of the season.”
“I’m just in a good headspace at the moment and I’ve been enjoying playing.
“I’ve had a good time this season, I’ve played well and I’m trying to keep the confidence going, the only down thing is that it hasn’t been the best season for our team.”
At the end of the recent WNBL season Bowen decided not to look at playing in the top league again unless a team could offer her a substantial role.
With a fiancé, a house and a full time job as a personal assistant to a company director, Bowen said she put playing in the WNBL to the side despite the strength of her form.
But that changed when new Adelaide Lightning coach Tracy York came calling with a major on court role in her re-emerging WNBL side.
“That wasn’t my goal coming into this season, I thought I was done with WNBL to be honest,” Bowen said.
“I had some conversations with coaches and I’m at the point now where I’m not going to do anything if it’s not in my favour.
“I wasn’t desperate for a spot, I’ve played in the WNBL and that was great but I didn’t anticipate signing with a team – maybe that’s how you play well because I didn’t have anything to gain or lose this season.
“But when the Adelaide thing came up it was a no-brainer, with the way the team is shaping up this is just what I need if I want to keep going down the WNBL path.
“This is an opportunity for me from the get-go, I’m not starting as the 10th or 11th player in a side with lots of depth.”
Like so many players who chase their WNBL dreams, Bowen will leave behind her job, house and fiancé for the summer and it wasn’t an easy call to make.
“When I was set on going then everything became easier to sort out,” Bowen said.
“I have resigned from my job which I’ve had for three years and I’ll be moving out of my house – it’s a big move for me but I really have to do it now and just work it out as we go along.
“An opportunity like this hasn’t come up in my career and I don’t think it will come up again – it’s one of those things where you either jump or you don’t and I didn’t want to be thinking what could have been later in my life.”
*Bendigo Lady Braves guard Kerryn Harrington unloaded against Canberra Capitals Academy with 41 points on 12-20 shooting including six three-pointers. Surprisingly Harrington managed to get five assists as well.
*Braves import Stacia Robertson almost had a triple-double against Canberra with 24 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists plus two steals and two blocks.
*Canberra’s Julia Forster had 14 points and 18 rebounds in the same game.
*Hobart Lady Chargers duo Izzy Chilcott and Kate Wischer had a big night against Nunawading Spectres with Wischer scoring 28 points and 12 rebounds and Chilcott scoring 22 points and adding six rebounds.
*Kilsyth trio Chantella Perera (24 points), Cassanadra Sant (22 points, nine rebounds) and Steph Cumming (19 points, eight rebounds and six assists) all stood up against Brisbane Spartans who also had a strong game from Odette Andrew (22 points, eight rebounds).
*Dandenong’s Tenaya Phillips (20 points) and Faith Probst (14 points, 12 rebounds) led the way in the Rangers’ win over Geelong.
*Albury-Wodonga forward Kristina Baltic had two double-doubles over the weekend with 18 points, 14 rebounds v Ballarat and 11 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists v Sandringham.
*Sandringham star Brittany Smart scored 23 points, 19 rebounds, five assists and four steals against the Lady Bandits.
*Frankston Blues guard Kate Gaze scored 29 points against Ballarat while Kelly Bowen had 22 points and nine rebounds.
*Nunawading’s Nicole Romeo scored 29 points and added 11 assists against Canberra while teammates Kate Oliver and Hayley Moffatt also had big nights with 27 points each.
SEABL media links
*Bendigo Advertiser’s Nathan Dole reports on Kerryn Harrington’s big night. Report: http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/3236101/harrington-stars-in-emphatic-victory/?cs=81
*The Advertiser also reports Sarah McAppion has signed with Bendigo Spirit for the upcoming WNBL season: http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/3233436/trojan-bolsters-spirit-roster/
*The Courier’s Melanie Whelan (@melanie_whelan) reports on the Rush’s weekend. Report: http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/3236833/resilient-rush-shares-a-massive-work-load/?cs=63
*The Examiner’s Phil Edwards looks back at Launceston’s 1995 CBA title ahead of a team reunion. Story: http://www.examiner.com.au/story/3234760/tornadoes-of-1995-to-relive-title-glory/?cs=96
*Leader’s Simon McIvoy reports on Kelly Bowen signing with Adelaide Lightning in the WNBL. Report: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/south-east/frankston-lady-blue-kelly-bowen-gets-wnbl-contract-with-adelaide-lightning/story-fngnvoeu-1227458456922
*Basketball Australia’s report on the Opals win over Japan. Story: http://www.basketball.net.au/opals-record-emphatic-victory-japan-series-first-game/
*The Age reports on the Gems bronze medal win in Russia. Story, video: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/sport/basketball/australian-gems-win-bronze-medal-at-fiba-under19-womens-world-championships-20150726-gikzve.html
*The Age also spoke to upcoming FIBA Hall of Fame inductee Jan Stirling. Story: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/sport/basketball/australian-coach-jan-stirling-reflects-on-her-fiba-hall-of-fame-entry-20150725-gikeiq.html
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 firstname.lastname@example.org