THIS time last month, Hamilton’s Abbey Sutherland was revelling in a gold medal win at the Australian under 18 basketball championships.
She and the Vic Country women had knocked off South Australia Metro in a one-point thriller, on the back of defeating arch rivals Vic Metro by 40 points in the semi-finals.
Now, the talented 17-year-old is preparing to make her first appearance for her new side when she takes the court for Warrnambool Mermaids on Saturday night.
“I finally get to play a game, which will be exciting,” she said.
“I had nationals, but then I’ve come back and I train every Thursday now, so I’m back into the swing of it.”
Sutherland – who has competed at national level the past four years, working her way up from a bottom-age under 15 player to a top-age under 18 player – said she was looking forward to testing herself in the Big V competition.
“Probably more just game practice (is what I want to get out of it), because from Hamilton you don’t really get much of a chance to get to play against better competition,” she said.
“They don’t really have any women’s sides apart from domestic sort of things, so when I contacted ‘Lou’ (coach Louise Brown) I thought this would be a good opportunity to get more game practice in.”
The Mermaids take on Blackburn Vikings at the Arc on Saturday night.
The Warrnambool Seahawks will travel to Melton to take on the Thoroughbreds on Saturday night in the division one men’s competition, while the youth men’s team will play the curtain-raiser.