WNBL 2022: Perth coach Ryan Petrik reveals Covid heartbreak and all the latest women’s basketball news
Perth coach Ryan Petrik has revealed the emotional toll the WA border situation is having on his team.
The Lynx sat out the first four rounds of the season before playing their first game in Adelaide on January 2, then setting up camp in Ballarat.
WA Premier Mark McGowan’s announcement last week that the border would not be coming down next month has sent a dagger through Lynx hearts.
Petrik’s wife Chelsea and baby Jada are back in Perth, as is Sami Whitcomb’s young family.
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“The silver lining was the border coming down Feb 5. No quarantine upon return, we’d at least get seven home games out of 21 so we had a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
“When he (McGowan) dropped that at 10.30 at night, it just changed everything. I don’t think
anyone’s really slept the last few days.
“Now we have no idea what’s happening and are desperately trying to seek clarity about what the season looks like now.
“I’ve shed a couple of tears, watching film back late at night. Jada’s about to start walking, I’m probably going to miss her first steps.
“You try not to think about it too much because you break out in tears.”
Alex Sharp and Emma Gandini are working full-time jobs from their hotel rooms.
Lynx players received their booster vaccine on Monday so they are eligible to return to WA.
BIG WRAP FOR Z
Towering Townsville star Zitina Aokuso has won high praise from an Aussie basketball champion.
Triple Olympian, and three time WNBA champion, Penny Taylor says she’s enjoyed watching the 23-year-old progress.
“For a couple of years now I’ve been closely watching Zitina and enjoying the way she plays and is developing,” Taylor said.
“She’s got great mobility for her size and great hands, we’ve loved watching her.
“It’s great to see her in the Opals and see that potential of having that athleticism and a presence on the inside.”
Taylor and wife, US superstar Diana Taurasi, have been home in Melbourne for summer with their children Leo and Isla.
Southside Flyer Jenna O’Hea has again showed why she’s one of Australia’s finest sporting leaders.
The Flyers and Opals captain has withdrawn from the national team for next month’s FIBA World Cup qualifying tournament in Serbia to focus on her mental health.
The Tokyo Olympics had a lasting impact on O’Hea who said after a busy 12 months she didn’t feel mentally prepared for another Opals campaign.
“I had some niggling injuries in the lead up to WNBL, recently had Covid which has set me back further and I need to focus on getting myself right both mentally and physically,” O’Hea said.
A Lifeline ambassador, O’Hea works tirelessly raising awareness about mental health.
“On this occasion I’m practising what I preach to ensure I look after mine.”
A leader of her country, community and sport, basketball is lucky to have O’Hea.
With UC Capitals young gun Jade Melbourne
1: I’m going to my first Opals camp, it’s my first opportunity to get into the environment. I’m super excited to see how it works, learn from my teammates and soak it all up.
2: At Canberra I’m learning every day from Kelly Wilson, Kelsey Griffin and Britt Sykes. Kelly won rookie of the year in 2002, the year I was born. She’s a jet.
3: I love Powerade. I have a few on game day and if there’s any left in the changerooms when we leave, I make sure they don’t go to waste.
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