Lilly Rotunno’s journey to the Boomers and beyond

February 11, 2024 | Melbourne Boomers news

Being an elite female basketballer asks a lot of a young person, commitment, determination and talent.

Lilly Rotunno knew she could harness these traits and give her all as part of the Deakin Melbourne Boomers, and this season has demonstrated her ability to do just that.

Rotunno officially debuted in the WNBL 2022/23 season playing for the Flames but “wasn’t sure that [she] would get a gig” at Sydney for the current basketball season.

“My goal at that moment was to play in the WNBL.”

Lilly, determined to reach her objective, reached out personally to Head Coach Chris Lucas where they discussed what a role at the Boomers would look like and was  “over the moon” when she discovered that her agent and Chris had discussed the email.

She was then offered the opportunity to be a development player position for the 2023/24 season and continue to grow and harness her basketball talents.

“It is important to show that you care and that you have driven especially as a DP, it is a very different role to a normal rostered spot on the team.”

As a development player, Lilly came to learn and watch from the bench but with many injuries blemishing the Boomers roster early on in the season, Head Coach Chris Lucas and Assistant Coach Kristi Harrower needed strength and speed straight off the bench.

Lilly debuted as a Boomer in the first game of the season against the Adelaide Lightning and had a whopping 10 minutes donning the purple and yellow.

“When an opportunity arose, I grabbed it with both hands and really just tried to show what I can do, especially to Chris [Lucas].”

She has played in 10 of the Melbourne Boomers’ matchups this season and knows this season is a “stepping stone for [her]” to become a fully rostered player in the WNBL.

The Melbourne Boomers have Australian, New Zealandia and US royalty in their midst, however Lilly has spent most of her season with WNBL MVP favourite Jordin Canada, “learning off her” and being challenged by her skills as a guard.

“She’s an absolutely insane player, constantly giving me feedback and encouraging me to be confident.”

Lilly enjoys having Canada as her “matchup” and notes the Boomers’ lineup are incredibly “awesome” and “talented” athletes.

“All of our guards are elite, Jordin’s a crafty amazing guard, Mon’s quick with an elite shot and Aimie’s IQ is incredible.”

With big things on the horizon for the team, Lilly believes the Boomers are “on the right path” and knows “the next two games are so important for [them]” to inch closer to claiming the WNBL Championship title.

“This team, we’re so talented but more importantly, when we play together, we look amazing and are just unstoppable.”

The season may be coming to a close, but Rotunno has her next basketball venture lined up, debuting at Keilor Thunder in the NBL1 under Head Coach Kristi Harrower.

Lilly noted she was “very excited” about this next step in her career and knows the South league “plays strong” but under Olympian Kristi Harrower, Rotunno knows she will “constantly learn off her” and improve her game.

“She’s given me an amazing opportunity and I’m going to use what I’ve learnt at the Boomers to show how much I have grown in a short time.”

Catch Lilly in the next game for the Deakin Melbourne Boomers against the Adelaide Lightning on Saturday, February 17!

The action will kick off at 6:30pm which you can watch for free on 9Now!