Fresh start: Claire Blower acquaints herself with the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre show-court after a year away from basketball. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Blower returns for the Rush

January 21, 2021 BY

SELKIRK Ballarat Rush has signed Claire Blower to team for the 2021 NBL1 South season, following her one-year basketball hiatus.

Having taken a break to focus on her teaching career in Charlton, the 175-centimetre-tall centre plans to return to top form on-court and strengthen her leadership skills.

“I’m looking forward to personally stepping up a bit and playing a bigger role in the team. I’ve always wanted to break in, step up and now I’m finally confident to do that,” she said.

“I’ve been working hard to get fitter. Working on my ball-handling and getting some shots up will really help me. I feel really good, so I’m pretty prepared.

“Hopefully I can play some more minutes and be more of a leader on-court as a senior player.”

Recently, Blower and some of the 2021 squad have attended training sessions with coaches Eric Hayes and Megan Collins.

She said she is comfortable with, and challenged by, the coaching team. This season’s squad also includes former teammates.

“I love all of the girls and we’ve managed to keep a few of the locals together for a few years now, so we know each other pretty well.

“Everybody is excited to get back into it after the year that was. The community around Ballarat is fantastic, so it’s really nice to play in front of our home crowd,” she said.

“Hopefully we can get through our season uninterrupted.”

The 18-month-old Ballarat Sports and Events Centre is the new home of the Rush. Blower is enjoying getting acquainted with the facility and 3000-seat show-court.

Ballarat Basketball senior elite teams committee member Lynly Doherty welcomed Blower’s return.

“Her enthusiasm filters through the team,” she said.