After 8 years of pursuing my basketball goals, I am finally back where it all began, playing for my home town Manchester.
Although it feels like yesterday since I was suiting up for the Mystics, it is slightly surreal when I think about how long it has actually been and where my journey has taken me.
Like many aspiring players, my dream from a young age was to go to America to play college basketball. I was fortunate enough to gain a full scholarship to Oral Roberts University, a Division 1 school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During my four years at ORU, we won back to back Summit League Championships whilst I completed my undergraduate degree in Marketing. My college experience taught me so much, on and off the court – it prepared me for my next step and I really grew in confidence as a person and as a player.
Following my college career, I have played professionally for Barking Abbey, Cluj-Napoca in Romania, and most recently for Leicester Riders whilst completing my Masters in Sports Management. Basketball has provided me with so many opportunities, which I am extremely grateful for. It has allowed me to travel and see the world all whilst representing my country. I have visited over 30 countries, to as far as China, twice, but for me nothing compares to playing in your home town.
When the opportunity came up to play for the new look Manchester Mystics, I felt like I couldn’t turn it down.
The club being signed over to Eastlands Trust and playing at the new National Performance Centre at Belle Vue, were both huge deciding factors for me. I believe the move shows women’s basketball in Manchester is looking to progress and I very much want to be a part of that.
Another factor which influenced my decision was my Dad being appointed the Head Coach position. A few people have already asked me what it is like to play for my Dad. For me, he has been my coach my entire life. He is my biggest critic but at the same time my biggest supporter. As a player, he knows me better than anyone and with that he knows how to get the best out of me no matter the occasion. As much as people joke about it being a struggle for me to play for my Dad, I have complete faith in him as a leader and I honestly couldn’t think of a better person to do the job.
So after 8 years I am finally back home, with more experience and hopefully more wisdom, ready to put on a Manchester Mystics vest once again. I am so excited for the upcoming season and really believe we are going to surprise a few people this year. As a team we are looking to make an impact and be competitive, and for me personally, I am looking forward to the challenge of leading a new team to a successful year.