Kelly Wilson notches up 400th game

WHEN the UC Capitals take the court this evening against the Perth Lynx, a little slice of history will be made.

The Capitals’ point guard Kelly Wilson will be playing her 400th Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) match, and in doing so will become the first player in the WNBL to reach the amazing achievement.

On January 24, 2020, Wilson grabbed the all-time games record when she notched up her 395th match. On that night Wilson was able to look back on all the champions she had surpassed for league games, and is honoured to hold the all-time games record.

“I reflect on when I started out and was trying to break into the league. If someone had have said then I’d play this long, let alone reach the games record, I would’ve thought they were crazy. I look back at that kid who was so eager and enthusiastic about playing in the WNBL,” Wilson said to the WNBL website.

“I knew I’d played a lot of games but wasn’t really aware of the record. I still enjoy it and that’s why I’m still playing.”

She was actually due to reach the milestone last weekend, but with all the WNBL matches cancelled due to Covid chaos, the milestone got postponed to this weekend.

Wilson has had quite the illustrious 20 year career to make it to this point. She began her career back in 2002 with the Australian Institute of Sport.

After graduating from the Academy she moved to the Sydney Uni Flames, and won the WNBL’s Rookie of the Year award that same season.

Wilson played over half her career with the Bendigo Spirit, and was crucial in helping them win back to back titles in 2012/2013 and 2013/14. She has also had stints at the Townsville Fire, and the Capitals. She won a title with the Fire in 2017/18, and one with the Capitals in 2018/19.

Wilson also made it into the Opals side, achieving gold medal success in both the 2013 and 2015 Oceania Championships. She has achieved all of this in her career while trying to juggle plenty of other commitments.

Wilson is a school teacher in Bendigo, so does not even live in the same city as the team she is currently playing for. She is also a mother to her son Ted, who was born in 2021.

Former teammates have spoken glowingly of her and her achievement.

When speaking to the ABC, former Spirit teammate Gabrielle Richards said the record was “an absolutely superhuman effort that I don’t think will be surpassed anytime in the foreseeable future.”

With all the challenges thrown at her, Wilson’s achievement is all the more remarkable. Will we ever see another player play 400 games? Only time will tell.

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