Shereesha Richards hoping to guide Blues to NBL1 playoffs

Published on: May 09 2019
Author: FDBA
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Shereesha Richards makes her long-awaited return this weekend in the NBL1 round 6 home clash against the Eltham Wildcats, with the import forward set to bolster the talented Powerade Frankston Blues front court.

Returning to a Frankston team that is starting to find touch, having won two games, Richards appreciated the team is in a better position than where they were when she arrived last year, and was ready to hit the ground running after a brilliant season in Spain.

“I have to say that I had one of my best seasons,” explained Richards of her season in Europe after touching down in Melbourne this week.

“We made history. The team won the most games they had ever won in a season, it was the first time they had made the Queen’s Cup, and I think it was also the first time they had made the semifinals.”

Having spent the past season in Spain, Richards rejoins the Blues after helping AE Sedis Bàsquet to the final of the Queen’s Cup before their 2018/19 Spanish Liga Femenina season ended prematurely in the semifinals. Richards played an important role for her team, averaging 7.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in just over 18 minutes per game. Injury free and in good form, she was hoping she could help strengthen the Blues front court and add some experience to a young, talented team.

“Obviously it is still a young team, and we can learn and improve,” said Richards.

“From playing with Steph and Milli [Ivanov] last year, I’m still familiar with some of the team, and their style of play. I like playing fast, running games. Running up and down the court, while being a presence in the post. That’s something I can do.”

The 185cm forward averaged 19.4 points (52.3% FG) with 9.6 rebounds per game last time she suited up for the Blues, numbers that saw her ranked inside the top 10 for scoring (9th) and rebounds (6th) in the 2018 SEABL season.  With Steph Reid’s improved scoring, and with Saraid Taylor showing the form why she is a WNBL development player, Richards was confident that she can help the Blues make a playoff run.

“The goal is always to make the playoffs,” Richards outlined matter-of-factly. “Last year we were not able to make the playoffs. Making the playoffs is definitely the goal, and if we can go further than that then why not?”

Richards was also not as surprised as others of Reid’s 50-point game in a big win over Launceston last week, explaining that she knew that her team mate had the talent and ability to be a dangerous offensive threat in the league.

“I think I saw it on Facebook or Instagram first, and I was like, ‘Steph scored 50′, like wow!” She is a great player, and should be scoring big numbers if she wants to. But it was even more important that they won, and it was a big win too.

Richards’ versatility last season saw her ranked as one of the best forwards in the SEABL. She was hoping she could replicate that again in NBL1, and had only heard good things about the new league.

“I’d like to think I can make an impact in the post, and perhaps even step out and hit some three’s if that is needed. Shooting in the high post and taking bigger players off the dribble, that is something I’ll look to do.

“It’s a lot more professional this year with NBL1. It is more up to date – you can watch all the games live. I can now send a link back home to the State’s to watch all the games. My family can now see me play more often – my Mom can now watch all my games throughout the season. Sure the time difference is a problem, but I am sure she will catch some live and then maybe the replays.”

With all the hype from Reid’s big game last week and the Blues registering their second win of the season, Richards was expecting a huge turnout to Frankston Basketball Stadium this Saturday night when they look to register a third win against the Wildcats.

“Fans play a huge part for our games. Having people cheer you on, you just want play harder and do better for them. Hopefully we can see a full house this week that will be there to help push us onto a win.

“I arrived on Tuesday, have rested, and have since joined the team on court. While I may not be 100% [on Saturday], I will play my hardest and do my best so we can get that win.”

 


Saturday night will be PINK NIGHT as part of NBL1’s Mother’s Day Round which falls in the second week of Frankston’s May Madness. An initiative by the league, NBL1’s Mother’s Day Round will be raising money for Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA).

Collections will be taken throughout the night and direct donations to Breast Cancer Network Australia can be made by clicking HERE

The Frankston Blues take on the Eltham Wildcats in round 6 of the 2019 NBL1 season at home this Saturday, 11 May 2019 . The women’s game tips off at 5:30pm at Frankston Basketball Stadium, which will also be streamed LIVE on the NBL’s YouTube channel accessible via the game centre link below.