TWO talented daughters, two different Championship Women’s basketball teams – if you see Amanda Matthews wearing half yellow, half black clothing this year that will be why.
Sisters Emily and Sara Matthews will this season line up in the top-tier Basketball NSW competition, one in the yellow of Sydney Comets, the other in Penrith Panthers’ black.
For 20-year-old Emily, it will be her second season with the Comets. She played five matches for them last year, averaging 14 points per game.
“Emily is at uni in Sydney, that’s why she plays for the Comets,” her mother Amanda explained.
“Emily was playing for the Sydney Uni Sparks team in the Victorian SEABL competition, but that competition has now been disbanded.
“So all the Sydney Sparks players are now scattered around the various championship women’s teams in Sydney. It will make the championship a lot stronger, they will now play a number of WNBL players too.”
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For Emily’s younger sibling Sara, season 2019 as a member of the Penrith Panthers squad will be her first involvement in the Championship Women’s competition.
She was talented scouted by the Panthers’ coach.
“When we went away to All Schools last year the Penrith coach was coaching the primary schools side he approached her there about coming down to trial for their Championship Women’s team. So she did that,” Amanda explained.
“There are not many 16-year-olds doing it, there might be a couple, but not many.
“Sara still plays for Goldminers in the under 18s, but she is just going to Penrith to play for championship women so she gets some court time.”
Having a pair of sisters play in this competition, especially for different teams, is not a common occurrence.
Given the age gap between the pair, playing on the same court together is not something which has happened in the past much either.
“They played a little bit of State League a couple of years ago, I think it was only one game they played together. They’ve played a lot of one-on-one together, but that’s about it,” Amanda said.
“They both train very hard, but yes, I’m very proud of them. Sara has just been selected in the state team as well, the under 18s state team to go to Townsville in April.”
Last weekend the sisters squared off in a pre-season trial match. Naturally their mother had to cheer on both teams.
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“I have to sit right in the middle, there’s no favouritism. It has happened before, I had two girls play against each other in the netball grand final last year. If they could just play with the same team and the same club it would be very good,” she laughed.
As for which sister got bragging rights on the day, Amanda revealed it was “the baby.”
“But in saying that, both teams were missing a quite few of their players, so it’s not really an indication of what will come,” she said.
“But yes, she’ll take bragging rights first time around. They will play each other twice throughout the season.”
The Matthews will meet in a season proper match for the first time on March 31.