Australian Opal and Sydney Uni Flames forward Natalie Porter left quite an impression on more than 60 young basketball hopefuls when she took them through their paces on Saturday, writes Brad Greenshields in the Coffs Coast Advocate.
Porter ran two hour-long clinics at Sportz Central with the junior players and Coffs Harbour Basketball Association president Judy Smith said that the kids truly enjoyed learning from someone who plays at the elite level.
“She’s only 28 so she’s very experienced but she’s still very young with the kids so they really related well to her,” Smith said.
The Olympian didn’t have a bag of tricks to show that would make the star struck juniors good basketballers, in fact Smith said her message during the clinics was the exact opposite.
“It was really just basic skills but it reinforced the need to learn the fundamentals,” Smith said.
“There’s no secret to basketball.”
Porter did more than just the clinics on the weekend though.
She was the guest of honour at the association’s presentation dinner held on Sunday night and Smith said that her speech to those in attendance was fantastic and it had a great message for the young representative players.
“When she spoke at the presentation night she spoke very strongly about the need to get an education,” Smith said.
“She actually moved to the Institute of Sport when she was 15 and found that she was far too young. She only spent a year at the AIS and then went back to Melbourne and she’s studying for her masters at the moment so she’s a highly intelligent person herself.”
Porter also won over plenty of parents with her other large piece of advice for those that were there.
“She also emphasised with the kids that you’re never too busy,” she added.
“When mum tells you to clean your room or do the dishes you’ll go ‘ohhh’ but she then said to use her for an example as she’s got a full-time job apart from playing professional basketball, training with the Opals and doing a masters degree at university.
“Natalie tried to put it into context that everybody’s busy so you’ve got to use your sport a little better as a time management tool.”
Natalie Porter may have only been in Coffs for a weekend but the impression she left on the impressionable young basketballers will last a lot longer than that.