Interview with Michelle West
3 days out from the Youth League Grand Final, we caught up with one of the newest members of the Camberwell Dragons family. In only her first season at the Camberwell Dragons, Michelle West has become a crucial piece in the Youth league side, and is a big reason they have made it to the last game of the year. ‘Westie’ as she is known around the club, played rep basketball with the Dandenong Rangers from under 12’s to under 18’s, competing in the National Junior Classic, winning it once. It was not until 2013 that she began playing Big V with the Mckinnon Cougars, and in 2015 she joined the Camberwell Dragons. It was here where she has had her best season, averaging 11.9 points per game, a career high, and 9th best in the league. She will again play a massive role this weekend in the Youth League Grand Final against Sunbury and she spoke to us about how she’s feeling.
CD: In your first season at the club what have you enjoyed the most about the club?
MW: Moving to Camberwell has been a great experience. The club boasts a friendly environment between all four teams and has lived up to its expectations. I’ve enjoyed the intensities of the training sessions and being able to play with some great players.
CD: When was the last time you played infront of 200 people?
MW: Last year, playing for McKinnon in the final series, with both games being away from home. I’m looking forward to having some supporters on our side this Sunday.
CD: It must have be special when the team won on Sunday. Who do you enjoy watching play the most in the team and who have you learnt the most off?
MW: I really enjoy watching our senior group rip up the floor early on in games and set the standard for the rest of the team. I’ve learnt a lot off the senior players throughout the year.
CD: The last time you played Sunbury on your home floor, you hit a buzzer beater to win the game. Talk about that shot and the confidence you take going into this game?
MW: That buzzer beater was a pretty surreal moment. I bought the team Gatorades before the game, joking that I was in need of some good karma so that was joked about amongst the squad, that was my karma paying off. I’m very confident going into Sunday. We’ve been the best team all year and have fought through the challenges that come with that, dropping a few games in the lead up to finals. I’m excited to go into this game with a great bunch of girls by my side.
You finished top 10 in points per game this season, talk about your approach and preparation for a game and some advice for the juniors when it comes to scoring?
MW: When it comes to game preparation it’s all about staying hydrated and getting amongst the team throughout the warm up. I guess when it comes to scoring you can’t be afraid to shoot the ball when the shots are there. Getting it through hands offensively is important and I’ve been lucky to be on the end of a lot of good passes and plays from the team this year.
CD: Grand Final this Sunday, are you nervous?
MW: I think nerves are a given in big games such as this but once we hit the court and the ball gets through hands I’m sure all nerves will subside. I’m more excited than anything.
CD: The team has the edge on Sunbury, with the season record 2-1 in favour of the Dragons. What will make it a third victory?
MW: Above all else we have been the best defensive team all year. I’m sure we’ll adopt the same approach this week and it will get us over the line.
CD: Finally, send the Dragon supporters one message.
MW: Thanks for all the support throughout the year. Get down this Sunday and barrack loud and proud. Go dragons!
Youth Grand Final: Camberwell vs. Sunbury – Sun 2pm @ Balwyn High School
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