On the eve of her 250th WNBL game, Belinda Snell proved she still has plenty left in the tank to push for selection in next year’s Rio Olympic squad.
The Bendigo Spirit star turned in a vintage performance with 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals in Bendigo’s win over Adelaide on Sunday, and notches up the milestone against Townsville on Friday night in the first game of the Spirit’s weekend road double.
She has reached 250 games despite playing several seasons overseas, suiting up for three different WNBL clubs in her 12 season
Before coming to Bendigo last season, Snell starred for some top sides in Sydney, and before that was part of a history making squad at the Australian Institute of Sport.
“To be able to get 250, I’ve played six years in America and seven in Europe, to still get 250 means I’ve been around a while,” Snell said.
“Definitely winning the championship in that first year with the AIS and playing with Lauren (Jackson), Penny (Taylor), Suzy (Batkovic), Kristen Veal and such a great group of girls.
“It was a great time, I came in a year after most of them. It was great to be a part of such an amazing time at the AIS.
“We made some history in terms of a junior team winning the national league and it was an honour to be a part of that.”
Spirit coach Simon Pritchard paid tribute to Snell this week, saying the 34-year-old is still playing at a high level.
“Considering she has played a number of years overseas to get to 250 is quite a milestone and very few players get to that, as well as being a three-time Olympian,” he said.
“She‘s one of the most famous faces in Australian basketball and we’re really pleased for her.”
Alongside her stellar WNBL career, Snell has represented her country at three Olympic Games, medalling on all three occasions.
She has produced numerous individual highlights, including an incredible half court buzzer-beater against France at the 2012 London games to send a group match into overtime.
If she keeps up the kind of form she displayed in the win over Adelaide last week, it may not be the last we see of the Mirboo North native at the Olympic level.
“Getting to Rio is the goal, I’ll just see what happens,” she said.
“I’ll keep working hard here in Bendigo, take each game as it comes and see what happens with the Olympics but I’d love to go again.”