Adelaide Lightning centre Chelsea Brook is ready to make yet another splash coming into her fifth year for the 2020/2021 WNBL season. Brook who hails from country South Australia in Truro and last played for the Norwood Flames and Sturt Sabres in NBL1 Central has been a mainstay for the Lightning in recent years and is very keen to continue her connection with the club. “I feel really excited and blessed to be able to return for my fifth season with the Lightning, I love having the opportunity to play under Chris (Lucas) again and be able to be involved with the Lightning community and supporters who continually come out and support us. I also feel very privileged to be able to play in front of my family and friends in my home state.” Brook said.
Brook is also a previous winner of the highest honour in South Australian Women’s basketball the Halls medal for the MVP of the SA Premier League (NBL1 Central) in 2018 stunningly as a teenager. Only a few players have won the medal as a teenager however the Australian Junior Championships selection has always been around the top level of basketball thanks to countless kilometres put in by her family driving from their family home.
Brook was introduced to basketball from a very early age and constantly surrounded by the game, “My family had a huge influence on my basketball career, I was involved in our local Barossa Valley association from the age of four, my parents would coach my older sister’s team and I would fill in and always be out at trainings joining in. They pushed for me to play District Basketball with the Norwood Flames and would drive me to Adelaide twice a week so I could play, throughout my SA Country Basketball career they would give up their weekends to drive me to state trainings and tournaments all around South Australia and ensured I had every opportunity to be successful.”
Brook told us that her family has always supported her throughout her basketball career including when she had to travel around the world to play in the University games. “Growing up I was very lucky to have parents who supported me every step of the way. I went through the SA Country Basketball program where I met some of my closest friends and had some of my favourite basketball memories. Being a country program meant there were athletes from right across South Australia and we would spend weekends at a time together, training, sleeping constantly being together which meant we built incredible bonds and playing together was even more enjoyable. I’ve also been lucky enough to travel to Japan and Taiwan to play in the World Uni Games team where we won Gold, which is an experience I will never forget.”
Outside of basketball, Brook works at a residential aged care facility as a personal care worker which helps her outside of basketball remain focused. She also studies at university a bachelor of Legal Studies so Brook is well equipped on and off court.
Brook impacted off the Lightning’s bench in their 2019/2020 season averaging 7 ppg, 2.7 rpg and shooting the rock at 51.5 percent per game, however she is keen to improve beyond the arc this season to become more a threat for opposition defenders “I would describe my playing style as a stretch forward, in the off season I’ve definitely tried to improve my consistency of outside shooting and I think that is something that I can bring to the Lightning this upcoming season.” With already a 42.3 percent outside range mark from 2019/2020, Brook certainly with an increase in this area can step up to become a legitimate threat in the WNBL for defenders.
Look out for Chelsea Brook to splash down some long range bombs and grab the attention of all WNBL supporters and fans this coming season.
Written by Tristan Prentice (South Australian Basketball Media Advisor)