SIXTEEN seasons down and with a third WNBL championship safe in her keeping, Bendigo’s Kelly Wilson can’t say for sure whether she will be back in 2018-19.
The 33-year-old point guard was one of the keys in Townsville Fire’s 70-57 win over Melbourne Boomers in Saturday night’s WNBL game three championship decider in Townsville.
It was Wilson’s first championship with the Fire, but third in total following back-to-back titles with Bendigo Spirit in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
The former Opals star insists she is in no rush to make a decision on her playing future and is keen to savour championship moment while it’s still fresh.
“I’ll think about that (playing on) over the next couple of months,” she said.
“I’ll head back to Bendigo in the next week or so and then at some point I will assess where I am at.”
It was a fairytale ending to the grand final series for Wilson, who played her 350th WNBL game in the decider.
A year of milestones for the former WNBL rookie of the year included her 100th game for the Fire.
Described by her coach Claudia Brassard as the ultimate hard worker and team player, Wilson revealed she gave little thought to the milestone in the lead-up to game three.
“To be honest it probably wasn’t going to mean very much to me unless we got the win,”
“But to top off 350 games with a win made it memorable.”
Her 103 games for Townsville have come in two stints across five seasons, punctuated by eight with the Spirit in Bendigo (2008-09) to 2015-16).
Despite some obvious frustration during her first season back with the Fire in 2016-17 due to foot and shoulder injuries, Wilson could not have scripted a better return to Townsville.
“The club up here is amazing, they’ve been good to me and the community support Townsville gets behind the Fire is phenomenal,” she said.
“These past two years have been a great experience.
“I’ve enjoyed playing and to come out with a championship this year is what I was after.”
Wilson, who tasted grand final defeat against her current team when with the Spirit in 2014-15, considered herself fortunate to again experience that championship feeling.
“That’s why you put so much effort into a season, so it’s a pretty amazing feeling,” she said.
“Obviously this one is pretty fresh and you find yourself thinking about the one you have just won, but the two I won with the Spirit were very special to me.
“I cherish them just as much, but they are all just that little bit different.
“Anytime you have Liz Cambage as your starting centre, you are up against a pretty formidable team.
“Melbourne is a great team and the series was obviously very, very close. The games were low scoring and very defensively minded.
“For us to get the win in the third game was very tactical – we obviously had to readjust after a very disappointing loss in game two.”
Wilson will resume her role with Bendigo South East College’s Athlete Development Program on her return to Bendigo early next month.