Courtney Walker has had a taste of what it is like to be in the WNBA.
Her stay at the top was all too short though and the 23-year-old is hoping a season with Ballarat Skoda Rush in the South East Australian Basketball League can take her closer to a return.
Walker joins Rush as one of two new imports from the United States.
She will link up in Ballarat with friend and former Texas A&M College teammate Courtney Williams.
Walker said it had largely been a coincidence that they were being reunited with Rush, although they did have the same agent.
Walker looked to have the basketball world at her feet when Atlanta Dream selected the three-time All-American guard with pick 16 in the second round of the WNBA draft in April, 2016.
She said going to Atlanta had been a surprise.
Getting an invitation to attend the draft gave her confidence that she would be selected, but the interest had come from three other teams.
Unfortunately, within a month Atlanta released Walker.
She said although disappointed she had left on good terms and not dwelt on the call – being better for the experience.
Walker arrives in Ballarat having not played since March last year, when she was with Nice in France for a short stint.
She hopes to one day again play in Europe and catch the eyes of WBNA scouts.
Walker arrives in Ballarat full of optimism.
“It’s all about winning. I want to win.”
MEANWHILE, GMHBA Ballarat Miners overseas recruit Josh Fox has also arrived in Australia from the US.
Fox, 23, joins the Miners under the SEABL rule that allows Oceania-born players to join a roster as an unrestricted import.
Although Fox grew up in the US, he was born in Fiji.
This is Fox’s first stint in Australia after time in England and New Zealand, where he played with former Miner Everett Bartlett at Hawkes Bay in the NZNBL.
He said spending time with Barlett had given him an insight into what expect in Ballarat and the SEABL.
Fox is hoping he can follow a pathway of other Ballarat Miners recruits such as Craig Moller and Peter Hooley, who have gone to play in the NBL.
He also has aspirations to join the NBA Summer League.
First though, Fox says he desperately wants to play in a championship-winning team with the Miners. “A championship, that’s what I’m looking for,” he said.