Steph Reid loves a challenge, re-signing with the Frankston Blues for the Basketball Victorian managed NBL1 season.
“It’s my home club and I’ve been playing here since I was five,” shared Reid in announcing she was returning to the Blues this year.
“If I was going to play on a successful team, I’d like it to be here in Frankston.”
First year head coach Jess May was thrilled to welcome back one of Frankston basketball’s favourite daughters, not least one of its most talented.
“Steph is an exciting package who displays a strong ball handling skill set,” said May in announcing the signing.
“Her intensity and competitive nature is going to be infectious within our squad. In our short time knowing each other, we have built a good relationship already and our communication is open about our expectations and goals for the year.
“The cherry on the top is that Steph is a Frankston junior and a fantastic role model for all the young female athletes in the Blues program”
As a late addition to the team following a glittering college career with Buffalo, Reid took little time to adjust to the SEABL on an injury plagued Blues roster. She played the final 7 games of the season to average 16.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. It was also no coincidence that with her injection into the line-up, the Blues were immediately more competitive, with her season best of 31 points with 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals coming against Albury-Wodonga in a heart-breaking 2 point loss in round 12.
Reid would go on to explain that the challenges of last season were behind them now, with a new head coach on deck able to undertake the early planning and investment of time in ensuring 2019 will be the year that the Blues start to turn things around on court.
“I think that honestly, Simon was great, and we have a good relationship,” added Reid on former head coach Simon Mitchell. “It will however be great to have a coach that is able to solely focus on us this season. He [Mitchell] had a lot of stuff going on with Melbourne United, and he was not able to probably dedicate as much time to us as he would have liked.
“It’s her [Jess May] first head coaching role, and she is excited and wants to prove she belongs. She is putting a lot of time and effort into us, and it will pay off for us all.”
After a difficult season last year, Reid explained that it would be a new-look roster in 2019.
“We know we are starting from ground zero. We are bringing in people that we know will fit in with team chemistry and complement each other.”
Reid’s impact in the SEABL last season after her brilliant college career attracted the attention of WNBL teams, with the Dandenong Rangers snapping the Blues star up. While she valued the opportunity presented to her, she added that her goal was to prove she could play and compete at that level consistently.
“It was a good opportunity to turn out and train at that level,” explained Reid on her debut WNBL season. “I have now seen the level I need to be at for next year.
“This is now a big development year for me – I learned a lot about the game. I want to play next season [in the WNBL] and contribute.
“Jess [May] knows my goals and this is the difference for me. I need to grow as a player now and I have to put my trust in her and her in me.
“Some may say that this is a rebuilding year – but I hate that term. Last year was a horrible season for us, however this year we are putting a team together to win. I am way too competitive to lose, I want to win and play well.”
Blues Chairman Chris Beattie was ecstatic to be able to welcome back one of Frankston’s own home-grown star talents.
“It’s just so great to be able to have Steph back on deck this coming season,” shared Beattie.
“Steph has had such a big impact on and off the court for Frankston basketball. On the court she has quickly become the backbone of the Blues program from which we can build from, while off the court she coaches the kids. She is a terrific role model and it is fantastic to have her back.”