Injuries have defined this underwhelming UC Capitals season. Although through the hardship the team has remained unified and positive. This positivity is exemplified by backup center Bec Pizzey.
Pizzey’s WNBL career began with the Southside Flyers, the reigning champions at the time. She then joined The University of Sydney Flames, before eventually finding herself in Canberra. She has never had as much responsibility as she has in the last few weeks. In the absence of starter Alex Bunton, Pizzey has become the lone big on a struggling Capitals team.
She admitted that she was nervous before her first start against the Bendigo Spirit, but she often feels that way before games. Once the game tipped off, however, she felt as if it was “any other game”. She stayed confident in herself and her abilities, she remembered all the work and preparation that went into getting her this opportunity.
That game would be the first win of the Capitals season. Bec’s defensive intelligence was clear from the start. Even against Anneli Maley and Alicia Froling, some of the league’s most talented post-scorers, Bec held her own.
Pizzey has shown that given an opportunity, she can be very productive just by working in the Caps’ guard heavy system. In her five starts, she has averaged 8.2 ppg. She has been relatively efficient with 53% shooting. She is a versatile big who can find ways to score in all areas of the court. She works well as a screener next to Jade Melbourne, she can roll or pop. Her shooting ability allows her to space the floor, leaving room for more movement and cutting, which is a big part of the Caps’ offense.
Melbourne has nothing but glowing compliments when asked what it is like to have Bec as a teammate. “She is a terrific passer and high IQ player. I absolutely love running the two man game with her, it just works!”
Pizzey has proved herself to be a capable rim protector. She has the 4th most total blocks in the WNBL this season. This is an area in which the Capitals struggle. Since the Pizzey playing time increase, opponents have seen far less easy layups and open lanes to the basket.
Bec passes the eye test as well, (the non stat sheet stuff). She absolutely tries her hardest on every possession, she hits the ground when she has to. Making it clear to her coach that she is not taking this opportunity for granted. According to her teammates, however good Pizzey is on the court she brings even more to the team off of it. [She is] “Constantly checking in on everyone, making people laugh and getting around her teammates’ successes.” Jade Melbourne added.
This type of attitude is vital to keeping a losing team hopeful for the future. The UC Capitals have been riddled with injuries and setbacks this season. It is difficult to find silver linings in a 2-15 record. But for the Caps, Pizzey’s performance in her 5 starts and her positive outlook is something to be thankful for.