Roy Ward on Launceston Tornadoes’ forward Alex Wilson, plus this week’s big plays and the media wrap up.
Is it Alex or Ally?
Alex Wilson likes them both although Ally has become a more recent version of her name.
Either way she is a fast rising star in Australian basketball and has driven one of the more interesting roads in recent seasons.
Wilson has spent her summers playing WNBL with Townsville Fire then flown south the past two winters to play SEABL with Launceston Tornadoes.
This season Wilson has made an impressive start to her campaign averaging 22.4 points per game in the first five matches including a 32-point, 13-rebound effort against the BA Centre of Excellence and 28 points against Sandringham Sabres.
In 2013 the now 21 year old guard was looking for an opportunity in the WNBL after spending time at the Australian Institute of Sport.
As a South Australian native, Wilson already knew Chris Lucas and when he won the Townsville Fire’s coaching role he extended an offer for her to move north – she took it.
“I’m not a fan of the heat – coming down to Tassie is a bit of a relief,” Wilson said.
“My two years in Townsville have been really good – I’ve played with some great players and they have helped my development.
“Winning the WNBL title this past season was quite a special thing to be involved in as well.”
Wilson’s Launceston connection came from her time playing at under-19 level for Australia when former Tornadoes coach Peta Sinclair was part of the support staff.
“I knew I definitely wanted to play SEABL so Peta approached me about coming down and I was keen straight away – I had never played SEABL before last year but I knew Peta fairly well so I did it.”
Wilson had a solid first SEABL campaign averaging 15 points per game and new Tornadoes coach Reece Potter asked her to return so she took up the offer again.
“I just try to help out as much as I can.
“We have a fairly solid team this year, so we want to get as many wins as we can I guess – it helps that I’ve been scoring but we all have a job to do.
“I told Reece when I signed I wanted to come down and work on my game in the offseason, improve my ball handling, play more in the guard positions, improve my outside shooting and build confidence in all those different aspects.
“I’m down here to develop.”
Wilson is making the most of her time in Tasmania living with her boyfriend on a coastal farm away from Launceston – it means she has a bit of drive to get into town for trainings and games but she is enjoying it.
“I don’t have any phone reception up there but the farm is in a pretty nice spot.”.
Wilson played 24 games in the Fire’s WNBL championship this season and is still sorting out her future for next season.
Those extra minutes against the WNBL’s best players has made her better for this SEABL season and she hopes her strong form will hold up for the year.
“I definitely had a bit more opportunity this time around – I took it and ran with it when I had time on court.”
“I think I’m just coming into my stride – I’m only 21 and I’ve developed a lot since then.”
The Tornadoes and Hobart Lady Chargers play at Elphin Stadium this Saturday night and as part of SEABL Pink Round they will be raising money for the Breast Cancer Network Australia.
*Geelong forward Sara Blicavs came back from Opals camp and burned Sandringham on Sunday scoring 35 points and grabbing 22 rebounds in 43 minutes. Blicavs wasn’t the game high scorer though with Sabres star Brittany Smart scoring 36 points as the Supercats took an overtime win. Smart also had 22 and 16 against Bendigo.
*Dandenong’s Jacinta Kennedy was again leading the way with 30 points and 14 rebounds against BA Centre of Excellence although past Rangers junior turned COE player Lauren Scherf was also impressive with 22 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
*Nunawading’s Rebecca Cole spearheaded the Spectres’ win over Ballarat Rush with 17 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks.
*Hobart’s Kathleen Scheer took charge in the paint during her side’s win over Brisbane with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.
*Kilsyth’s Steph Cumming was again among the points, scoring 21 with six rebounds and five assists in the Cobras’ win over Geelong.
*Launceston didn’t beat Brisbane but Emilee Harmon (27 points, 11 rebounds) and Mikaela Ruef (16 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists) had big individual games.
*Frankston’s Kelly Bowen was on-song against Ballarat with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Teammate Emily Fryters put in a big night in the paint with 16 rebounds while also dishing out seven assists.
*When Dandenong Rangers’ needed her most, veteran Clare Papavs stood up on Sunday against Canberra Capitals Academy with 23 points, five rebounds and four assists.
*Sandringham centre Caitlin Rowe had a big weekend scoring 27 points and grabbing nine rebounds against Geelong. The night before she scored 16 points and pulled down 15 rebounds against Bendigo.
SEABL media links
*Ballarat Courier’s Melanie Whelan (@Melanie_whelan) reports on the Rush going so close to a first win this season. Report, pics: http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/3053550/first-season-win-snatched-from-rushs-grasp/?cs=63
*Ballarat Courier’s Pat Nolan also reports the Minerdome is hoping for State Government funding this year to add new courts. Story: http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/3056542/9-million-hope-for-basketball-in-budget-basket/?cs=63
*Bendigo Advertiser’s Kristen Alabakis spoke to Bendigo Lady Braves veteran Andrea Wilson ahead of her 250th SEABL game. Report, pics: http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/3045127/loyal-wilsons-lasting-impact/?cs=81#slide=1
*Bendigo Advertiser’s Adam Bourke also reports Simon Pritchard will be named the new coach of WNBL club Bendigo Spirit. Story: http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/3055036/simon-pritchard-to-coach-bendigo-spirit/?cs=81
*Leader’s Megan Hustwaite (@MeganHustwaite) reports Kilsyth Cobras coach Sam Woosnam hand coaching duties to her assistants for the next few weeks due to her impending baby. Report: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/sport/coach-sam-woosnam-guides-kilsyth-to-big-seabl-win-and-now-waits-for-the-arrival-of-her-first-child/story-fnglemo4-1227332761260
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