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Magic move: Di­a­mond ad­mits it’s nice to be wanted

- Net­ball Cheree Kin­n­ear Sports · Netball · Commonwealth Games · Sport Events · Bay of Plenty RU · Elliott Smith · Australia · New Zealand · Netball Australia

Aus­tralian Di­a­monds cap­tain Caitlin Bas­sett ad­mits it’s nice to fi­nally feel wanted.

The two- time Net­ball World Cup win­ner and Com­mon­wealth Games gold medal­list will be­come the first Di­a­mond to com­pete in the ANZ Pre­mier­ship next sea­son, hav­ing signed with the Waikato- Bay of Plenty Magic.

She’s set to make the move af­ter she found her­self stuck on the bench at her club, the Syd­ney Giants, for most of this year’s Su­per Net­ball com­pe­ti­tion.

She said it hurt not be­ing in­cluded in the start­ing seven.

“It was re­ally dis­ap­point­ing and frus­trat­ing and I’m re­ally ex­cited and lucky that the op­por­tu­nity came to play with Magic,” she told New­stalk ZB’s El­liott Smith.

“It’s just that re­spect and feel­ing of be­ing wanted by a club be­cause I cer­tainly wasn’t feel­ing that at Giants to­wards the end.”

Bas­sett’s lack of court time has been linked to Net­ball Aus­tralia’s in­tro­duc­tion of the Su­per Shot, which awards teams t wo points for shots made in the outer ring of the cir­cle.

As a world- renowned close- range shooter, Bas­sett strug­gled to put up enough ac­cu­rate shots from dis­tance which saw her on the outer of the Giants squad.

Bas­sett said her goal was to play for Aus­tralia at the 2022 Com­mon­wealth Games and said she needs court time to stay at her best.

“The rea­son I play net­ball i s to ac­tu­ally play net­ball, and while train­ing is fun, get­ting out there on court and putting it to use is ob­vi­ously what I’m here for,” she said.

“To be an Aus­tralian player and to in­spire kids to dream of play­ing in the green and gold, you need to be out there on court and get­ting bet­ter week in and week out.

“When I looked at the op­por­tu­ni­ties that were go­ing to get me out on court to con­tinue grow­ing as a player, why not come to Magic in New Zealand and play against the world cham­pi­ons?”

Un­like Laura Lang­man, who was ini­tially barred from Silver Ferns se­lec­tion for opt­ing to play across the ditch, Bas­sett will re­main el­i­gi­ble for the Di­a­monds.

She has al­ready been named in new head coach Stacey Marinkovic­h’s 2020- 21 side to play the Silver Ferns in the post­poned Con­stel­la­tion Cup series early next year.

Bas­sett said although the con­ver­sa­tion with Net­ball Aus­tralia was not easy, they un­der­stood her po­si­tion.

“They want me play­ing net­ball in Aus­tralia as their cap­tain but they un­der­stand the predica­ment I’m in around court time and ul­ti­mately they don’t want me to be on the bench ei­ther,” she said.

“They’ve been very sup­port­ive about it all and I’ve had mul­ti­ple con­ver­sa­tions with Stacey as well as my Di­a­monds team­mates and we all think it’s go­ing to be the best op­tion.”

 ?? Photo / Getty Images ?? Caitlin Bas­sett says she is look­ing for­ward to get­ting more game time in the ANZ Pre­mier­ship.
Photo / Getty Images Caitlin Bas­sett says she is look­ing for­ward to get­ting more game time in the ANZ Pre­mier­ship.

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