250-gamer Ashworth brings leadership and experience to NBL1 2021

She jokes about being too old to keep fronting up at this level so we’re thrilled Denielle Ashworth (nee Lipscombe) has signed back on to play NBL1 in 2021. It wasn’t a given but in the end, she says:

“It’s the girls here that keep me coming back. I love them and it’s always fun to play with this group. I guess I just want to keep playing at the highest level I can until I can’t anymore.

Getting to play with Mak again is exciting and also playing another season with JJ and Maddie is great.”

Coach Craig Allen is certainly glad to have her back:

“Del’s a really valuable member of our group and I think she flies under the radar in a lot of ways. I don’t think her value is appreciated outside of our group as much as we appreciate her inside it. She is long and athletic for a guard and can defend both on the perimeter and inside which gives us huge flexibility. She can run the floor well for us, creates well and brings leadership too being a senior member of our group who has 250+ games now. You can’t buy that sort of experience. You want those experienced players leading and growing the younger group and providing senior leadership to direct the younger group coming through.”

After spending sharing time at the point with Bri Bailey in 2020, Del is relieved to have Mak Dyer back in the team:

“We really lacked that experienced pure point guard last year. I’m not a point guard and I had to play that role. Bri is probably better on the wing too and now Mak fits that spot really well. I’m very excited to get to play alongside her again.”

For all her talk about being too old, Del doesn’t seem to be slowing down any. In 2020 she also played football for East Perth and plans to do the same again in 2021. What’s the juggling act like?

“It’s hectic but I think I like the hectic lifestyle. I struggle having downtime so if I’m busy that’s when I’m in a bit better state I guess. The body does feel it though. There was one weekend where we had a basketball game the Friday night, footy grand final the Saturday afternoon and then another Redbacks game the Saturday night. It’s fair to say I was cooked that weekend.

I’ll keep playing both sports but with it being two full seasons (unlike the two half seasons we had this year) I’m going to need to try and look after my body a bit better too to make sure I can get through it all.”

On the topic of SBL becoming NBL1:

“If it’s anything like the last home game we had of last season that was televised, that was great. It was great seeing that many people here and everything was set up well, and having it streamed allowed a lot of people who couldn’t get to the game to be able to watch which was pretty cool.”

Back on the topic of Del herself, we’ll let Nathan Barns our NBL1 Director have the final word:

“It might be a new name but it is the same Del. She may be our veteran but she is our hardest worker. We are excited that Del is going around again in 2021; she brings experience and skill but also a great attitude and enjoyment that is infectious among the playing group.”

Great to have you on board for 2021 Del!

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