IF anyone’s heard a cheerful “N’awlins” accent around Warrandyte recently, chances are you’ve bumped into the community’s latest sporting import.
Chastity Reed, former WNBA player and native of Louisiana, is the Warrandyte Venom’s newest star player. Having also plied her trade in Europe, Chastity joins Martino Brock as one of the two imports the club has secured for this season and she is loving the opportunity to play Australian basketball.
“Nicole Howard got in touch with my agent and we thought coming down here was a good way to keep me in shape, because right now is my off-season,” Chastity says.
The New Orleans-born basketballer was originally a footballer, until realising she would have a better chance of making an elite level in basketball. After moving to Dallas, she received a scholarship to college in Arkansas where her coach and her team’s style of offence allowed her to excel.
Now in the Australian basketball system, there are a few things Chastity has noticed.
“Over here, the players actually have better fundamentals. But overseas you probably find the more athletic players. It’s funny because I play tall in Australia, at the power forward position, but back home I was a guard.”
Adapting to Venom basketball is something Chastity has enjoyed and she hopes she can continue to make an impact for the remainder of her stay.
“I really trust my teammates already and I love the ball in their hands. I’m putting up some decent numbers and I don’t usually turn the ball over, so I think it’s going well.”
The style of basketball isn’t the only difference for Chastity, who has also made observations about the more easygoing mentality of the Australian persona.
“In Australia people are more laid back and easygoing, which is nice compared with back home. In Europe, people are really harsh and will crucify you. I like it out here because it’s a really close community.”
Having previously played at the highest level in America, after being drafted into the WNBA in 2011, Chastity is under no illusions for her future basketball goals.
“I want to be back in the WNBA because I am sure that I can play at that level. I know the girls who are playing there now and I know that I can compete,” Chastity says.
“I also feel I need to find a team that suits me as a player. One with a solid half court offence set that suits my game. I just need to get in the gym and do more so that I am at my best.”
But for now, Chastity is focusing on making the most of her time here in Warrandyte. Her status as an import runs out at season’s end in July/August, and her time abroad is something that she believes more should have the opportunity to experience.
“I think Australia, Europe or wherever should allow more imports, as many as possible. Staying with Jenny Trewella has just been fantastic, they have been really great to me and it’s just been a great experience.”