Creating Fortress Bendigo

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The Bendigo Bank Spirit has made a pact to make their home court ‘Fortress Bendigo’ this season. One player who has vowed to personify that in every single play is home-grown point guard Kerryn Harrington.

The 23-year-old has returned to the Spirit this year, after being part of the club’s roster in its inaugural WNBL season. She has brought her trademark tenacity and doggedness with her, and she is proud of it. “I have always been a very competitive person so of course I enjoy challenges and being pushed right to the finish,” she said.

“Being full court up the floor and pressuring the guard is something I can bring to this team week in, week out, and I do enjoy the role of making a pest of myself to the other team. “My role in the team is still evolving but I see myself as a lock-down defender and being able to knock down the open shot when it’s there.”

Kerryn played that role perfectly against Perth Lynx on Sunday, knocking down three three-pointers from three attempts. “Simon and I have put in a lot of work over the last couple of weeks with my shooting technique, relaxing and trusting my shot, as well as the decision to take the right shot at particular points in the game,” she said.

“It makes my job a lot easier when you have players like Kelsey, Belinda, Gabe and Kelly attracting so much attention from the defenders and kicking the ball out to me wide open. It certainly takes the pressure off.” Kerryn has averaged more than 20 minutes each game so far this season, and is seeing the hard preseason — and a return to the Bendigo Lady Braves in the winter — pay off.

“The start of the season has been great. To get a win in Townsville last weekend was huge for us as a group and has really set up the first half of the year for us,” she said. “To back it up with a great performance in our first home game for the year over a very talented team in Perth was important for us. “Tessa (Lavey) is a fantastic player and I have seen her single-handedly turn a game on its head, so as a team we spoke about giving her nothing easy all game which I was doing my best to follow.”

Kerryn is thrilled to be back in town, and excited about the direction the team, and the club, is heading. “Playing in Bendigo there is an expectation to play in finals and be successful.  I am very excited to be back playing in my home town,” she said, “Bendigo has such a rich history in Basketball with the success of the Lady Braves and more recently the success of the Spirit’s back-to-back WNBL championships.

“I’m really glad to have my chance to be a part of it. It is such a privilege playing every day with some of the world’s best. “There is a real sense of excitement in the group that we can take out the championship this year.”

Photo: Steve Blake, Akuna Photography

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