She may have started her WNBL career way back in 1996, but Brydens Sydney Uni Flames forward Rohanee Cox is playing some her best basketball just in time for her 250th game – this Saturday against the Townsville Fire.
Averaging 15.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game this season, Cox is displaying some of her best form, just 12 months after she was convinced to come out of retirement from the game by Flames captain Alicia Poto and Head Coach Karen Dalton.
I was retired two years ago and then Alicia Poto asked me to play again,” explains Cox.
“Alicia said, ‘Well I’m older than you, so you should be playing again!’.”
Cox went on to have an excellent season with the Flames last year – her first with the Sydney Uni franchise – and her coach didn’t hesitate about signing her up again for season 2012/13.
“Rohanee is a great player and she has worked really hard over her career to reach this milestone,” explains Flames Coach Karen Dalton.
“It’s fantastic to have her playing her second season with the Brydens Sydney Uni Flames, as she is a pleasure to coach.”
With road trips this weekend against the eighth placed Logan (Friday night) and fifth placed Townsville (Saturday afternoon), the 33 year old mother of two will become the second Flames player (the other was Lauren King) to celebrate her 250th WNBL game in consecutive weekends.
It’s a milestone that brings a smile to the face of one of the WNBL’s greats.
“It’s pretty amazing,” says Cox. “I didn’t think that I was going to make 250 games after having two kids. It’s a pretty big achievement.”
Cox has led a far from standard WNBL career. Having begun with the AIS in 1996, where she played in the Nation’s Capital for three seasons, Cox has since played for four other WNBL clubs – Perth Lynx, Townsville Fire, West Coast Waves, and the Flames. She has also had three breaks from the WNBL and professional basketball in general, which she credits for her longevity in the game.
“Being away from the game and having breaks always makes me want it more. In particular, after my first child (2003) I had the fire in the belly to come back (2005) and I wanted to play.”
In 2008/09 Cox was named WNBL MVP. In the same year she became the first Indigenous athlete to win a basketball medal at an Olympic Games, helping the Opals take home a silver medal in Beijing.
“Along with the League MVP award, the 2008 Olympic Games medal was my biggest achievement and something I’m very proud of.”
These days Cox is as busy off the court as she is on the court, and she is enjoying the balance that she has struck in her life even if it’s now a little more hectic.
Speaking about her teaching degree which she is studying at The University of Sydney, the SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder says “I’m really enjoying it. I’m getting a bit older and I have different goals in my life.”
“I have kids as well, so it’s hectic in my household. But I have a good partner and he helps out a lot, so I’m getting through it (study).”