Tough season for Bendigo Spirit steels young gun Kara Tessari


EXCITING young Bendigo Spirit guard Kara Tessari says she has relished every minute of her first full season in the WNBL, even despite the team’s lowly ladder position.

The 18-year-old said while it had been a tough season on everyone involved with the team, she was confident everyone – especially herself – would be better for the experience.

“That’s difficult to say based purely on how we have gone, but I would like to think I have improved,” she said.

“It’s really my first year in the league – it’s been an incredible opportunity for me being able to play against the best players in Australia.

“I’ve definitely felt a lot more comfortable this season.”

Technically 2017-18 is Tessari’s second season in the WNBL.

She appeared in four games in 2016-17 as a 17-year-old after being signed as a replacement player for injured veteran Jane Chalmers.

Tessari, a dual junior national championship player with Victorian Metro, hails from Monegetta, a town with a population less than 400, situated between Sunbury and Romsey.

That Tessari is a rural Victorian girl playing for the state’s only country-based WNBL team is a pleasing fact and a source of much pride for the talented teen.

“I am very honoured to play in such a great league,” she said.

“I grew up in the country, but haven’t necessarily played much basketball in the country.

“But being a country girl it’s great that I have ended up here.”

Tessari is set to continue her association with Bendigo basketball following her signing with the Lady Braves for the 2018 SEABL season.

She will be joined by a bunch of her 2017-18 Spirit teammates, including Nadeen Payne, Ash Karaitiana, Maddi Wild, Ahlise Hurst and the injured Jess Rennie.

“It was a bit of a no-brainer with Megan (Spirit assistant coach Megan Moody) getting the coaching job,” she said.

“A lot of the girls with the Spirit were talking about it and I thought there is no greater pathway from going from the WNBL and developing at the Braves and then try and hopefully come back to the Spirit.

“It’s a great opportunity for all of us and for me especially and I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do.”