Medhurst set to pass netball legend
Photo Source: AAP
She dreamt of being a basketball star, but Diamonds' shooter Natalie Medhurst is poised to pass the mark of a netball legend she was once in awe of.
If as expected, Medhurst get on court for Wednesday's second Constellation Cup Test against New Zealand, in Launceston, she will earn her 85th cap.
That will move her up to outright seventh on the Diamonds all-time list, one clear of fellow South Australian and former national captain Michelle den Dekker, who she first met when was around 13 in Medhurst's home town of MIllicent in country SA.
"I was at a clinic and I was in awe of her because she was the fittest looking athlete I had ever seen," Medhurst told AAP.
'I was lucky to be in the Diamonds when she was one of our assistant coaches.
"If I get to get out there on court (on Wednesday) I'll surpass her (caps total), which is certainly something I never ever expected."
Medhurst's early sporting passion was basketball.
"In the country you couldn't actually play (netball) until you were in under 13s and I played basketball from a younger age , that was the main sport that I played,'" Medhurst said.
"I absolutely loved it, I always dreamt of being a basketballer not a netballer.
"I did state under 16s for basketball and I was actually asked to play basketball ijn the city in Adelaide, but I stayed in the country and the whole family moved up and then netball took over."
Medhurst played in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy and ANZ Championship and next year will participate in the new national league.
Although netballers will be better paid than ever before money isn';t the major driving factor for her continuing her career.
"I still have my very first contract that I had with the Adelaide Thunderbirds and kids these days, if they actually looked at what that was, they would laugh at it," Medhurst said.
"They would just think ''that should be what we get in a week.'
"I've never played for individual gain or material things or for money.
"The thing that just pushes me is the competitive nature, I just want to keep getting better.
"There's nothing greater than playing top level sport,,to be playing with and against the best players in the world, week in week out, and to represent your country is a pretty special thing.
"There's only been about 170 players who have represented (Australia in netball)."