For everyone in the WNBL and throughout the Victorian and Australian basketball landscape, that could only mean one thing – Carly Wilson was here to play.
We’ve had the pleasure of seeing her flourish throughout an extraordinary state, national and international career in our beloved game… but we’ll have to say goodbye to her at the end of the 2016/17 WNBL season.
— WNBL (@WNBL) January 16, 2014
The bright-eyed 15-year-old guard who debuted for Dandenong has experienced a lot in her 350 plus game career in the WNBL – three championships, shifting to all points of the country to push herself as she went to the AIS, onto Perth and finally ended up in Canberra.
It’s been an incredible journey throughout the ranks for the Victorian and Australian mainstay for the better part of two decades.
She felt this would be her last time around at the start of the season, but it’s hard to hang up the jersey and she wanted to stick by the Caps and see them out of their toughest period in WNBL history.
“Obviously this is going to be my last season in the WNBL – the time has come,” Wilson said at a press conference in Canberra today. “I’ve been around for a very long time and it just feels like the right time to hang up the pink socks.
“The gut-feeling was this was going to be the last one, but I didn’t want to say never until the end, but it’s been so enjoyable and I’ve learnt things in my last season about basketball and I’ve had such a wonderful time with the team and with the coaching staff.
“It just feels like this is such a nice way to go out and finish; it’s been a rough couple of years with the Caps and I really wanted to – if it was possible – to hang around long enough to help the club get back on track and get some success back for this really proud club.
“I’m really pleased that I feel like I’ve been able to do that.”
With Australian honours, a Commonwealth Games gold medal, time spent playing overseas and a ton of titles throughout her career – she’s done it all and never dropped her characteristic grin across the years. Therein lies the person behind the player and in Wilson that will be a person we’ll sorely miss in basketball circles.
But maybe not for too long…
It could be a short goodbye from the WNBL though as Wilson hopes to bring her trademark spirit, energy and resolve to the coaching side.
“I love the WNBL so much and it’s a part of me –been a part of my life since I was 15 years old,” Wilson said. “A part of me sort of wants it to keep going on forever – but 20 years doesn’t seem long enough when I start thinking about it, so I might need get back into it at some point with some coaching, to get back into the WNBL as it’s such a fantastic league and something I want to continue being a part of.”
Finals are in the mix for Wilson and her Capitals… but we know for sure there are seven more opportunities for the fans to say goodbye.
Hopefully her Capitals are lucky enough to make the finals and find their way down to Victoria for one of those clashes as we’d love to see her play again in person – to watch the pink socks fly up and down the court for the last time.
Feature image courtesy of 5 Foot Photography.