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Laura Hodges: ‘Adelaide has always been home’

PHOTO: YouTube

GH: And you’ve obviously played for Adelaide Lightning for a number of seasons now. As you said, you love Adelaide, and love South Australia – what has that meant to you to be able to play for the Lightning?

LH: Another reason why I wanted to play basketball at an elite level was because I used to go to every single Lightning game growing up, watching Rachael Sporn, Michelle Brogan and Jo Hill, and I just loved it.

It was the highlight of my week, and I would get so sad if mum and dad said ‘we can’t get tickets today’, or ‘we can’t go because we’ve got something else on’.

It was a thing I did with my family, and the fact I could then represent the Lightning was super special.

Obviously, I had six years away when I went to play in Italy and another couple in France, but at the same time now having a family myself, to have that opportunity to go and watch elite basketball is really special.

The WNBL is something that is so important to women’s basketball in Australia.

GH: Was it tough watching the Lightning lose to Canberra in the recent grand final series, knowing that you couldn’t contribute on-court?

LH: I think at that time I had just had Ava, and it was something inspiring to watch.

It was great for the WNBL that you had two teams that hadn’t made finals in such a long time, and then both of them end up playing off in the grand final.

It was a pretty cool finals series, and it’s great that we have so much talent within Australia.

You always have that competitive nature and want to be out there, but at that time I had a newborn so I was probably going on little sleep.

It was funny how going to the games, I felt like I had so much energy just watching it, and that I probably could’ve tried to get out there and give it my all.

Laura and her husband, Tim Hodges, with their daughter, Ava. PHOTO: Instagram

GH: And are you still eyeing a return to the court? How has it been adjusting to life as a new mum?

LH: I definitely want to play; I’ve been trying to keep fit and doing early mornings and late afternoons.

(Having Ava) has been amazing, she’s super fun.

If I don’t ever play another game, then that’s fine because I’m so happy with what I’ve done.

But now being a mum, even though she probably won’t remember, I want to show her that you can keep fighting for things.

I know that my roles (in the team) probably won’t be the same, but I still feel like I’ve got a lot to give, and I still love the game.

I think lots of people say they know when they should retire because they hate training, whereas I still really enjoy training.

I just like the strategy side of it and learning how you’re going to play against teams, and opponents.

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Grady grew up in Bordertown in the state’s South East, around 10 minutes from the Victorian border, and is a Geelong Cats tragic and a lover of sports. Grady has worked in the journalism field for more than six years at a number of regional newspapers. He plays cricket for Trinity Old Scholars, and doesn’t mind teeing it up at some of the fantastic golf courses scattered across Adelaide and its surrounding regions.