THE flights were long; however, the stay was short in Leona, Italy for Molly Urquhart-Moran.
This past November, Urquhart-Moran captained the 2017 INAS World Basketball Championships Australian 3×3 team.
A gold medal was the result from just seven days overseas, but months of preparation in the lead up.
“I came prepared, knowing what was ahead of me having competed in Italy on a number of occasions,” Urquhart-Moran told Basketball Victoria.
It has been a storied career for the talented centre in our basketball ranks, from starting out at 11 years of age, being introduced to the sport like many others – being asked to fill in for a team short on numbers.
Her exceptional year in the Australian colours earned her the Basketball Victoria Athlete of the Year with an Intellectual Disability.
From the Sunshine and Keilor Basketball Associations, vividly remembering suiting up for the Western Boomers and Taylors Lakes, Molly would never really have understood how influential basketball was about to be in her life until she could reflect back.
“I was a little bit of a rebel (as a kid), the structure of basketball and guidance of my parents have put me in good stead.”
The term ‘ball is life’ is thrown around a lot with millennials to continue to be involved with their friends playing the sport, however for Molly, the saying rings true.
Her parents were just as committed to the cause, driving around the state as their daughter played in Sunshine Suns and Altona Gators colours at representative level.
It wasn’t long before Victoria came calling, where Molly carved out a niche in the Vic Metro Ivor Burge Women’s team.
Throughout her ten straight years of representing her state – picking up a staggering eight gold medals to boot – Urquhart-Moran played both locally (at Big V level) and at national level which allowed her to do what she loved most; travel the world.
The senior leagues came calling and a championship with the Coburg Giants in 2012 still sits close to the top in terms of achievements, however nothing goes past being able to experience new parts of the globe.
“One of the best highlights is travelling the world. From meeting new people to experiencing the culture.”
Representing her country through the jersey of the Australian Pearls, Molly has seen the ball bounce from Italy to Ecuador, Czech Republic to Japan.
“From Global Games, to World Championships and even the World Cup, I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to see the world thanks to basketball.”
Molly may have crafted her skills to be at an elite level, however that isn’t the only thing that sees her travel the globe. She has to raise her own funds for every time she has to travel overseas to represent her country.
The Pearls continue to be one of the nation’s strongest teams when it comes to international play and that has a lot to do with the consistency of players over a long period of time.
“A good thing is that the group of girls that travel and play alongside me haven’t changed all that much and we get to participate in the tournaments all the way through.”
Long flights, different cultures and gold medals (lots of them) can only be big dreams for a young girl in Sunshine.
However, upon reflection, if you have your dreams, then you have your goals; and Molly has ticked off a number of them.