Cross code sensation chooses both loves in pursuit for greatness

MERGING both loves, netball and basketball. Similar sports but very different at the same time. Who’s the first person to come to mind?

Majority will answer Gretel Bueta, Myah Healey’s hero.

She first met the Australian Diamond and fan favourite Bueta at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) whilst in a camp and was nothing but starstruck.

Respect runs through Healey’s veins for Bueta who represented Australia in basketball at an underage level and netball at a senior level. Healey respects how Bueta’s gone about the game, still being herself even after choosing netball in the long run.

Healey respects what Bueta’s doing in the evolution of netball by implementing her basketball skills into her current game.

“I love that I’m an individual and I’m not the same as everyone else,” Healey told Rookie Me Central.

“I have that basketball background. I play netball like a basketballer and she’s been that person that I’ve idolised in respect to that.”

Healey sinking a goal against the Ariels (Image: Myah Healey/Instagram)

Growing up in Lakes Entrance, Healey was part of a niche group who found her love for netball and basketball. She has since pursued both sports at state level and thrives for an elite level appearance in either code.

In Year 7, Healey and her family moved to Warragul to make it easier for sport and education, being able to balance the two better.

“When I started at Lakes Entrance, I was playing for the Dandenong Rangers in basketball,” she said.

“That was like four hours to Friday night to be at VJBL, which was really draining, but I knew there was an end day because I knew we were moving.”

She found the trips difficult, but she developed a system on how to get her school work done in between all her games and training. Healey is thankful for her mum Katie and grandpa for driving her to her sporting commitments during that time.

Knowing the move to Warragul was near, she felt relieved to be able to get a good education but also keep playing sport at a high level.

Healey’s basketball career was a prominent figure in her life when going through juniors, playing for Vic Country and the Dandenong Rangers. She currently plays for the Casey Cavaliers in youth league and NBL1, and competes in wood chopping events making three sports to juggle.

Healey competes in woodchopping at a state level as well which has a special place in her heart. The sport has been in her family for generations with grandpa still competing in the event.

Healey representing Vic Country for basketball (Image: Myah Healey/Instagram)

The Deakin University student is studying a double degree in Law and Science, reflecting her sports life, unable to pick one love. When asked about her studies by family and friends, people are always shocked to hear her pursue two relatively difficult fields.

Healy’s favourite subjects at St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School were science and legal studies, so she decided to keep going with those and carry it into her professional career. She aspires to be a lawyer that involves science, more specifically something surrounding medical law. Her particular interests are autoimmunity and pathogens.

The second year university student has some accolades hidden under her sleeve. Healey has represented Victoria on multiple occasions playing both netball and basketball from an under 12s level.

Healey was awarded the Sporting Blue Award for netball at under 12s playing for School Sport Victoria (SSV) and further wore the navy blue dress at under 15s.

“Seeing the names that were on the list that had previously got the award, going to the MCG and getting it presented was a pretty good moment,” she said.

Healey representing Victoria in netball at under 15s (Image: Myah Healey/Instagram)

Even though Healey played state netball at an under age level, she had only played it on Saturdays growing up.

Regardless, it only got better from there, signing her first VNL contract at just 15 years-old with the Casey Demons. She was in the under 19s side in 2020 and 2021 which were riddled with COVID disruptions.

“Casey rang and asked me to trial for them then offered me a contract that night once the first trial finished,” she said.

Halfway through the 2022 season, Healey was elevated into the Division One squad and continued with them through 2023. Her hard work was recognised by her fellow coaches, peers and oppositions too, taking out the Demons best and fairest for under 19s in 2021.

She then went on to win the Division One MVP award two years in a row, making her talent obvious.

“Each best and fairest is always a privilege to get that, so having that every season I’ve played in has been an honour to receive, especially because it’s been opposition coaches that have voted.”

Healey winning the Division One MVP award in 2023 (Image: Myah Healey/Instagram)

The move from the Demons to the Stars this season was a 50/50 citation for Healey. Being located in the middle of the two regions, Healey could either stay with the Demons or take on a new challenge with the Stars who are entering their first VNL season with only one team in the under 23s.

She chose the latter.

“I’d achieved as much as I could,” she said. “I signed at 15-years-old, however I only had three seasons due to COVID.”

“I won the best and fairest for [Casey] each year, moved from under 19s to division one still being eligible for both.

“With the introduction of three new clubs, lots of movement around clubs, it was time to re-energise myself, take on new challenges, use my leadership skills and join the Stars.

“I’m a Gippslander, it made sense and I was keen to work with new coaches Jo (Ballinger) and Stacie (Gardiner).”

Healey was invited to trial for a training partner position with the former Collingwood netball side in 2020 amongst three other Demons teammates. The at the time 16-year-old was joined by other athletes in their mid twenties.

Healey playing for Victoria in basketball (Image: Myah Healey/Instagram)

Knowing she can go all the way in at least one code, Healey wants to pursue both for as long as she can while following her current routine.

“Reaching the highest I can in both netball and basketball because I don’t see a need for me to stop it when I can manage both,” she said.

“If there was a point in time where I’ve reached a level where I can only do one, then I would have to make some decisions about that.”

Healey has intentions of reaching the top in either basketball or netball, finding both sports to be her passions in life other than her studies.

“Whilst I can do both, I don’t see why I can’t just try and get to the highest level, whether that be WNBL in basketball, or Suncorp in netball would be the dream but ultimately whatever or wherever the highest level my sports can take me,” she said.

“Aiming big, but I feel like everyone has to aim big to try and achieve their dreams.”

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