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Canberra Capitals recruit Kate Gaze notches 100 WNBL games against Sydney

Kate Gaze will play her 100th WNBL game Sunday. Photo: Rohan ThomsonAs a reflection of Kate Gaze’s hard work and commitment to her basketball as a teenager while with the AIS, the current Canberra Capitals coach Paul Goriss jokingly banned her from his office.
Nanjing Night Net

Then a men’s coach at the AIS, Goriss put a sign on his door banning the young Gaze from entering.

“I would always be in the men’s coaches office talking and he ended up putting a sign on his door of my face with a big cross through it saying ‘Gazey’s not allowed!’,” Gaze said.

Nearly 10 years on and Gaze is back in Canberra playing under Goriss at the Capitals and preparing for her 100th game in the WNBL against Sydney Flames Sunday.

At just 26 her basketball experience is vast: she’s struggled with the unsuccessful AIS team, taken on the US college league with St Mary’s in California and won two WNBL championships with the Townsville Fire.

“People talk about how good a person she is and her background about being a Gaze, but they underestimate her strengths as a player and what she brings to the group as a leader,” said Goriss.

“She’s always happy, she’s got a positive vibe and that rubs off on everyone around the program. She’s coming off two championships with Townsville Fire so what she can bring to our young group is invaluable.”

Now reignited with Goriss, Gaze is determined to build a championship winning team in the capital.

“We’ve had a really great relationship since I was 15-16 years old and we’ve always kept in touch,” Gaze said.

“When I heard he got the coach’s job here he contacted me after the season and straight away he wanted me to come down here, and just the passion he had for wanting to get me in the team really drew me to Canberra.”

Gaze is the second cousin of Australian legend Andrew; her father Mark played for Australia, her mother Michelle O’Connor won a WNBL title with Coburg and her grandfather Tony is a former Opals coach.

But despite the constant reference to her famous basketball family she is proud of her heritage, and the 100 WNBL games is another milestone in her increasingly impressive career.

“With her family name there’s always the background attached to it and she’s very proud of it, but she’s also her own person and her own player,” said Goriss.

“You don’t stick around in this game for as long as she has at the AIS, and then through college and back to the WNBL if you don’t love it and you haven’t got a work ethic based around it.”

WNBL ROUND TWO

Sunday: Sydney Flames v Canberra Capitals, Brydens Stadium, 5pm.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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