Jump for Joy, Bourke’s back with the Rush

December 12, 2018 BY

Oncoming: Ballarat Rush centre Joy Burke, also known as Hsi-Le Bao, will re-join the team for a fourth season. Photo: SUPPLIED

STAR import Joy Burke is heading back to Ballarat for another season after resigning with the Rush for 2019.

It’ll be the fourth time he nearly twometer tall centre, who’s also a Chinese Taipei National squad member has played for Ballarat’s elite women’s team.

Bourke said she was looking forward to hitting the boards at the Rush’s new stadium and learning from recently appointed director of coaching Brendan Joyce.

“I feel incredibly grateful to the Ballarat Basketball community for another opportunity to play for the Rush,” Bourke said.

“Ultimately, I’ve decided to return to the Rush for another season because I love the community.

“I’m looking forward to some of the exciting opportunities this next season brings with the new league, new basketball stadium, and getting to learn from Brendan Joyce.

“Brendan’s decorated coaching experience speaks for itself, especially on the international level, and I believe he along with Eric Hayes will greatly benefit our team as well as help my game improve tremendously.”

Rush head coach Eric Hayes was overjoyed with the resigning.

“It is great for the Rush to retain Joy, there are not many 196cm players in the competition, so she is a key player for us,” he said.

“Joy finished last season strongly and we will be looking to build on that in 2019.”

Bourke’s numbers last season were impressive.

She put in 29 minutes per game on court while also averaging a double, double with 14.1 points and 11.65 rebounds.

Her effort under the hoop meant she was the league leading rebounder pulling down 233 of them for the season, seven more than Nadeen Payne who played in four more games than Burke.

Basketball Ballarat is yet to determine if Burke will play under her American or Chinese name, Hsi-Le Bao, with the new Basketball Victoria Elite League finalising their rules around the number of imports and where they are born.

Burke will return to Australia in early February at which time she’ll resume her community ambassador role before the new Basketball Victoria Elite League, which commences at the end of March.

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