Griffin’s love affair with basketball

Kelsey Griffin exudes the enthusiasm of an international debutante, but unlike other newcomers, she boasts of a long and distinguished professional basketball career.

Australia’s Kelsey Griffin in action at the Asia Cup in Bengaluru on Tuesday.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Kelsey Griffin exudes the enthusiasm of an international debutante, but unlike other newcomers, she boasts of a long and distinguished professional basketball career. The U.S.-born player spent five seasons with WNBA team Connecticut Sun, and even made it to the WNBA All-Rookie Team in 2010-11.

Before shining bright in the elite league, Kelsey established herself as a top prospect during her stint with Nebraska University. This led to her being picked third in the 2010 WNBA draft.

A spell with Australian club, Bendigo Spirit, in 2012, changed the course of her life. She fell in love with the country, so much so that she “felt more at home than anywhere else”.

In 2015, after years of shuttling between Australia and U.S.A., Kelsey was granted Australian citizenship. The ceremony took place on court at Bendigo Stadium.

“The longer I stayed and played in Australia, the more I got to know the people and the culture. I felt that this was where I was meant to be,” Kelsey says.

The FIBA Asia women’s cup marks her international debut, and the sense of occasion is not lost on her. “It’s an amazing honour to put on the green and gold jersey,” she says.

The 30-year-old lives in the small town of Bendigo with her wife, Erin. Asked if people question the nature of her relationship, she replies, “It’s not a big deal. It’s not something people ask questions about. It is just everyday life. I’m very lucky that I can live and be who I am. I’m a very private person - I don’t like to put it in people’s faces. I like to live life, and let others live their lives.”

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