August 7, 2020 | Adelaide Lightning news

Where are they now? Jenny Cheesman

What years did you play for the Lightning/Adelaide WNBL team?

Glenelg was the club I represented in the inaugural year of 1981 and I also played for Glenelg in 1982.
In 1983 I moved to Canberra to be a playing assistant coach at the Australian Institute of Sport, in the Women’s Basketball program, that competed in the WNBL. I also competed for the AIS during the 1984 WNBL season. In 1985 I played in the competition below the WNBL with the Canberra Capitals. We won that competition that season and the Canberra Capitals were promoted to the WNBL league from 1986.
I finished my playing career at the Canberra Capitals, playing with this club from 1985 until I retired from playing in the WNBL in 1991.

What do you do now? 

I’m retired from teaching/coaching. I keep active walking and going to the gym. I play social Bridge and love to travel.

Are you still playing or coaching?

I was involved in the 1994 Adelaide Frightening Master’s Team that won Gold at the World Master’s in Brisbane and have played in various Masters Games since then until now. I assist by helping to organise basketball training sessions for the ‘Golden Girls’ group and I participate in these sessions when possible.

Favourite memory of being in the Lightning or Adelaide WNBL team?

I’m not sure this is a favourite memory but the 3 game road trips which were played over 3 days in the first few seasons of the WNBL will be forever etched in my brain. This involved a flight to say Melbourne on a Friday afternoon, a game that night, followed by a game Saturday night and finishing with a game on Sunday afternoon. This allowed the players to return home Sunday evening (usually a huge rush to get to the airport to catch the plane) to be able to go to work first thing Monday morning. Exhausting! The growth of the league, the standard of play, the size, skill and professionalism of the teams and athletes has been exponential since those first season’s in the early eighties. The WNBL has always been entertaining however it has developed to new heights in recent years helping to produce and develop world class Australian Basketballers.

Favourite Uniforms?

I’m very grateful that I retired from playing WNBL before body suits were mandatory uniforms!

What do you love the most about the WNBL?

Many of my closest friends are former WNBL team mates and former opponents. I loved being part of a team, working together to achieve your individual best, but always knowing that the team’s success was paramount.

What would you like to see going forward in the league?

Greater media exposure for WNBL individual players and for the teams.
Greater recognition of the hard work and sacrifice made by all involved in a WNBL team, including coaches, managers, administrators and players.
Continued development of local talent so they form a larger proportion of the Lightening squad.

Quick Facts about Jenny:
Started playing basketball at 12 years old
Played State u/16 & u/18
Played 296 WNBL games
Played 167 games for Australia between 1975 – 1988
Captain of the Australian team from 1980 – 1988
1984 and 1988 Olympic Games
Played in World Cups in 1975, 1979, 1983, 1986
Inducted  in the Australian Hall of Fame in 2006 and automatically into the SA Hall of Fame 2006
Head Coach – Australian Institute of Sport
Won the WNBL Coach of the year with AIS in 1990
Assistant Coach of the Australian team in 1993, 1994,1995,1996, through to the Sydney Olympics in 2000
Awarded an AM for services to Basketball
In 2004 the Fair Play Award at the U/14 Girls Australian Championships was named in her honour
Recognised as the 8th greatest Australian female player in the 25 year History of Australian Women’s Basketball teams