Eltham Basketball Club is proud to announce the signing of Erin Riley to the 2020 NBL1 team, in what will see the 17 year old return to the red and black Wildcats uniform.
Erin started her basketball in the club’s introductory programs before moving into the junior domestic competition for Eltham in the Eastern Districts Junior Basketball Association (EDJBA). A Junior Championship player for Bulleen, Erin split her commitments whilst still an U18, playing for Frankston in the 2019 NBL1 season.
The Riley family is a significant one not just for the Wildcats, but within the wider Eltham community. Erin’s mother Ronlyn for 6 years was a highly valued volunteer as an ‘age group convenor’ for the large domestic club program. Her brother Jackson played, coached and refereed for the club; whilst Erin’s father Stephen is the Captain of the Eltham Fire Brigade.
Head Coach Grant Spencer was excited at the young prospect returning to Eltham. “Erin is a super talent and she demonstrated that last season at the NBL1 level. To have a player at such an age look as comfortable at the level as she did is a credit to her. We look forward to increasing that role in 2020 as she comes back to the club where it all began.”
Erin played 11 NBL1 matches in 2019 for Frankston, averaging 6.1ppg, 1.5apg and shooting at an impressive 39% from the perimeter, a percentage ranking her 12th in the league.
Chief Executive Greg Jeffers said “We are the only club of any sport in the north-east of Melbourne with an avenue to the elite level for males and females. We’ve been working toward a program that provides opportunity for our local people not just to sit and watch, but to be key members of the team. At 17, Erin is an impressive young woman who has had a glittering junior career. To have players such as her being able to play at home in Eltham at an elite level is one of the reasons why our club is involved in NBL1.”
The announcement of Erin Riley is the third with more to come, of local talent in Melbourne’s north-east, having a pathway from introductory programs to the elite via the Eltham Wildcats Basketball Club.