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