ATHLETIC tall Molly Mathews will take a big step up in her basketball tonight.
Ballarat Rush coach Donna Rinaldi was confident Mathews had the potential to thrive in the challenge.
The 18-year-old will make her South East Australian Basketball League debut on the road against Frankston, headlining an exciting and very young Rush outfit for its season opener.
Bronte Clark, Olivia Jones and Sophie Alexander will each be sought to impress for a depleted Auslec Rush in game one.
Kristy Rinaldi, reappointed as captain this week, and Women’s National Basketball League recruit Alice Kunek offer experience with guard Andrea McMahon and forward Kate Willey unavailable. Kelly Richardson is sidelined with an ankle injury she sustained in Rush D-League action last week.
American import Nya Mason is expected to arrive next week, in time to settle before Rush’s post-Easter bash with Bendigo at the Minerdome.
Coach Rinaldi said Frankston boasted an experienced line-up, but this offered a good lesson for her young charges.
“I have all the confidence in the world they can do well,” Rinaldi said.
“It will be good for them to get minutes, step up, do a good job and hold their own against Frankston.
“... The improvement the girls have shown since October has been fantastic.”
Rinaldi said Mathews, a great rebounding player and perimeter scorer, would be eased into the team but showed plenty of promise and potential and joined the team with a decorated junior record.