Written by Megan Hustwaite for NBL.com.au
The tables have turned on Steph Reid.
The 22-year-old guard was one of the youngest players on Dandenong Rangers’ squad last WNBL season. Now, suiting up for Frankston in NBL1, the Blues product is one of the oldest players.
“I’m the fourth oldest on the team which is very different because I was the fourth youngest at the Rangers, so it’s a bit of a role reversal but it’s always good to have a new challenge and I want to get better as a leader so it kind of helps,’’ Reid said.
“To learn off Tessa Lavey and Amelia Todhunter and their leadership at Dandenong was a really humbling experience and to now come back to Frankston as one of the more experienced players I want to be the same kind of leader that I had (at Dandenong). To bring that knowledge and experience back to the team is really good.”
Reid was a key with 18 points, six rebounds and seven assists as the Blues edged out Geelong Supercats in a thriller, 65-64, last weekend.
“They obviously didn’t have Ezi (Magbegor) or Zitina (Aokuso) but it was still a great win and we’ll take it,” she said.
“Our junior players were really good, Tori Jackson, Kassie Boorer and Tegan Fowler, and the ones who came through at the end. Taylor (Lee) hit her shots, JoAnna (Smith) and myself were scoring but they were playing defence and their roles.
“We still don’t have our full team until the middle of May when we get Shereesha Richards and Courtney Wilkins.
“For us now, getting those scrappy wins, we beat Geelong and should have got Melbourne Tigers, is important so that when we do get a complete team we’re in contention for finals because the last thing we want is to be out of the race by the time we’re full strength.”
A Frankston junior, Reid returned home to Victoria last year after a successful stint at the University at Buffalo where she led the Bulls to two NCAA Division 1 tournament appearances and finished her college career as their assists record-holder.
“College was huge for me, it gave me a lot more confidence,’’ she explains.
“Growing up I never made Vic Metro or was looked at by anyone but Frankston so going away to college gave me the confidence I could still be good without that resume.
“To go over there and have the career I had and come back and tell kids who want to go to college what it’s like is really cool, I love being able to tell the Frankston kids that I started where they did.
“I grew so much as a player and don’t think I would have made a WNBL list if I hadn’t have gone.
“I learned so much and became so much more independent.”
There’s plenty Reid has enjoyed about coming home after a stint overseas including one new weekly ritual.
“It’s so good to be home. Being away for four years my family didn’t watch my games and now they get to come every week,’’ she says.
“I’m really family orientated so having them there is super important. I always want to win but there’s really no better feeling than winning with the club you grew up playing for.”
Frankston is on the road to Bendigo this round, playing the Braves on Thursday night.