Steph Reid had an unconventional path to the Seven Consulting Opals compared to most of her teammates, but her passion for basketball has never wavered.
After watching the Sydney Olympics and becoming obsessed with everything Opals, Reid's tenacity and enthusiasm for basketball has continued to grow.
As she reflects on her journey, Reid credits her success to her ability to have fun and build strong relationships with her teammates both on and off the court.
“No path is the same, my story probably really shows that. You can have a million setbacks but can still somehow find a way to be successful,” Reid told BA media.
“I wasn’t in... state teams or national teams as a kid, I went to college and came back. So, it’s a bit of an alternate path for me, so it just makes being here a real honour and something I’m so grateful for.”
Widely regarded for her determination on court, Reid’s energy off the court is just as contagious. Chemistry and connections with her teammates is something the 26-year-old believes is the key to a successful team.
“Having chemistry is so integral to any team’s success, and I think if you have really good chemistry your team can be successful in any way,” Reid said.
Aligning with the core values of the Opals, Reid has easily slotted into the Opals environment and is soaking up every moment.
“It’s just been so much fun, it's just been great people, everyone is so competitive and wants to win everything, even when we play card games at the lunch table. It’s been really good getting to know people I haven’t played with.
“It’s been really exciting to get to know them on and off the floor, learning how they play and how to play with them,” said Reid.
“To be here with them and see that culture, be a part of that connectiveness is really exciting.”
Reid’s 2023 started with a bang, securing a WNBL Championship with Townsville Fire after an incredible 16-game win streak.
“We had a really great group of people in Townsville this season, obviously led by an incredible coach in Shannon [Seebohm], but I think the biggest thing this season was we just have a lot of fun. We obviously knew when to work and when to do business, but the biggest thing this year was enjoying the game for me, and I thought that this year with Shannon, we really worked on that. I think when you’re having fun you play your best basketball.”
Making her Opals debut in the Friendlies Series against Japan last year, Reid was presented her jersey by one of her all-time idols in Michele Timms.
“It’s something I’ve always dreamed of, and to be presented my jersey by Michele Timms was just the most surreal moment, she’s someone I’ve looked up to from such a young age.”
Having now gotten a taste of what it’s like to perform on the international stage, Reid is now setting her sights on the Asia Cup taking place on home soil in June, and the Opals camp at the AIS was the perfect opportunity to show Head Coach Sandy Brondello what she’s capable of.
“I definitely want to be a part of the Asia Cup this year, I think it'll be really exciting to be a part of that team.
“Just being surrounded by such incredible players, even being coached by Sandy is just unbelievable. I’ve never worked with her before, so just to be surrounded by my role models as a kid, especially Kristi Harrower, it’s unreal and just being around them, I’m super starstruck. I’m loving every second and I’m just learning so much in such a short period of time.”