By JESSICA BARDETTA
TOWERING at 194cm and wearing a men's size 13 shoe, Rachel Herrick looks a lot older than her
But when we talk to her, the demeanour of a modest, giggling teenager shines through.
The Hills Hornet representative basketballer, from Acacia Gardens, has been selected in the
Sydney Flames' development squad, invited by the Flames' coach Karen Dalton.
Not bad for a girl who has only played the game for two years.
Attending Westfields Sports High School in Fairfield, the year 10 student combines six
sessions of basketball every week with schoolwork.
Her career started when a schoolfriend asked her if she wanted to play in a local competition
at the Hills Basketball stadium.
From there she made the U16 Hills Hornets representative side in 2000, the U18 and youth
league in 2001. This year she made the final round of selection for the NSW U18 side and looks for
selection in The Hills U18 and open women's Australian Basketball Association (ABA) side.
When asked what sports she played before basketball, laughing, she said she was a dancer.
"People can't believe I was a dancer because I am so tall," she said.
"I did jazz and tap."
Leaving opposition quivering, the centre says her strengths lie in her ability to shoot inside
and to block in defence.
Rachel will be in action with the development squad, playing before the Sydney Flames' home game
at the State Sports Centre on December 7.
Inclusion in the squad has given her the incentive to aspire to bigger and better things.
"I want to keep going and play in the WNBL (Womens National Basketball League) one day," she said.
Though she said she likes Australian and overseas player Lauren Jackson, the male Sydney Kings
captain is her role model.
"Shane Heal is pretty awesome," she said.
"He is a good shooter and shows good leadership.
"He is a really nice guy and he has a lot of time for kids like me, talking to us one on one."
ON FIRE... Rachel Herrick has been included in the Sydney Flames' talent squad.
--------Photo: FIONA MORRIS
19th November 2002