By Devanny King | Lakeside Lightning Import and Operations Manager at 98five
Around here I have been dubbed as “DK,” formally known as Devanny King in the States. I reckon the three syllable first name was too much for Aussies to handle, which explains why the abbreviation is now a staple.
I hail from “The Land,” aka Cleveland, where continual hope after heartbreaking seasons is not a fad it’s a lifestyle. With great thanks to the Lakeside Lightning SBL team and coach, Craig Mansfield, I was shipped out as an import to the land of OZ, particularly to the most beautiful and isolated city in the world, Perth.
Perth has been a place for many firsts — first time traveling and living internationally, first time playing basketball overseas, first time driving on the other side of the road, first flat white, and first time ever eating Vegemite (before you say anything… I have had it spread lightly on toast with butter…still not a fan).
My first season with Lakeside has felt like an entire book condensed into one chapter. Like any 11–11 team, there were definite highs and lows, promising moments and other times I felt like personally reimbursing the fans that came to watch us play.
Despite having a .500 season, the statistics do not serve justice as to the progress we have made from day 1. This Lakeside team has a mixture of high-energy youngsters, experienced veterans, and those of us in the middle with experience but will not submit to the category of some who cannot be bothered the morning after a game. I get the honour of setting ball screens for the legend, Ali Schwagmeyer, and rolling into an area in which I can watch her wreak havoc as she finishes the basket in stunning fashion.
Another key contribution I make to the team is the singing and dancing that takes place during warmups; I feel as though it intuitively gets Ash Grant into the zone. Side note, I inform my teammates that if a Taylor Swift song comes on the speakers during our game to give me the ball no matter what and watch me do work; I put the song request in prior to tip-off- they have yet to comply…
We did not particularly end the season in the fashion we wanted to with loses both to Willeton Tigers and the Perth Redbacks. But that’s the beauty of the chance to compete in the post-season, the regular season is irrelevant. Luckily, we had a bye the last round of the regular season to rest and recover. Ali, her fiancé, and I thought this would be a great time to venture down South and explore the beaches and hike to waterfalls for active recovery (we won’t mention the amount of chocolate we consumed on samples alone at the Margaret River Chocolate Co).
We will have the Willeton Tigers in the first round of finals with the chance of redeeming ourselves whilst the sting is still fresh from our last game with them.
Craig has mindfully and articulately came up with training plans that will adhere to proper adjustments which will put us in a good mindset for the next two weeks. Between watching film all hours of the night and thoroughly assessing his wardrobe for the next game I am not sure when Craig actually gets any sleep.
From what I have been told the Lakeside V Willeton match up has been history repeating itself yet again, but I can assure you that this year’s battle will be epic nonetheless. See you in the stands this Friday and be sure to cheer us on!
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