Many amateur clubs have filled in a team sheet with registered player’s name when a non-registered player takes to the court or the field. If the ‘ring-in’ is too good that soon becomes apparent. Very few would go down the path of filling in team sheet and simply writing the name Smith. The Western Stars will be and it will all be legitimate.
Deanna Smith has played almost 250 Women’s National Basketball League games as a guard in a 13 year career, but this weekend she will add a new first to her career. She will become the first player to play in the WNBL and the Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball League when she turns out for the Western Stars.
Smith only managed six games for the West Coast Waves the season before after suffering a severe foot injury that saw her spend three and a half months in a moon boot. She has not run for seven months and opted keep her basketball skills alive by taking up Wheelchair Basketball. She joined in on some social wheelchair basketball at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre where Wheelchair Sports WA is based. She was then approached by the Western Stars head coach, John Triscari, to play for the team.
She will be in some August company in the Western Stars with three Paralympic Silver medallists from London, Sarah Vinci, Clare Nott, and Amber Merritt. The Stars came third last year in the WNWBL last. Hopefully Smith as an able bodied player with national basketball experience can take them to the elusive national championship in 2013.