A big 2019 for Sunbury’s Lily Scanlon has gotten even better.
Having been part of the Australian under-19 Gems team that won silver at the World Championships, this year had already been a successful one.
The last month has seen Scanlon sign two contracts, that have secured her basketball future in the short term.
Firstly, she signed a development contract with reigning Women’s National Premier League champions, the Canberra Capitals.
Then just weeks later it was announced that she had agreed to attend Gonzaga University in America.
Scanlon said it had been a crazy few weeks.
Playing in the WNBL and going college have been dreams for Scanlon for a long time.
She is set to do both in the next 12 months.
Scanlon said the decision to go to America for college was one that she had made a long time ago.
“It’s awesome and I’m so excited,” she said.
“It’s something I’ve been looking forward to and wanting to do for a while and now that its happened, it’s a bit surreal.
“We went over to America when on the official visit to Gonzaga and as soon as I stepped on campus, I knew that it was a perfect fit for me.
“I’ve been building a relationship wth the coaches for probably two years before getting over there. Once we got there and had the tour of the campus and met the team, I knew it was perfect fit for me.”
Scanlon is one of a growing number of Australians who have announced they are joining colleges on the west coach of America in recent weeks.
Scanlon makes the move to America to August next year.
Before then she’s still got plenty of basketball ahead of her.
First up is the WNBL season which started on the weekend.
Scanlon said it was an easy decision to sign with the Canberra Capitals as a development player.
She said she spoke with Capitals coach Paul Goriss before coming to the decision.
“It’s always been a dream as well and getting it at this age is just great,” she said.
“I’ve been living in Canberra for a year now and being able to stay in Canberra, with a team like the Caps that won the championship last year, it’s just another great opportunity that I can develop my game.
“It’s great for my development and good preparation for college as well.”
Scanlon is yet to train with the side due to a stress fracture in her toe, but was looking forward to the opportunity to train and learn off her teammates.
For Scanlon, the opportunity to play in the WNBL this season caps off a brilliant year.
She said winning silver with the Australian Gems under-19 side at the world championships was a massive highlight.
The Gems lost the grand final to America in overtime.
“It was insane and it’s one of the best campaigns I’ve been part of.
“It was the best group of girls and coaching staff and I think to get that result like we did, I don’t think many people were expecting us to do that well.
“Going into the tournament, it was always our goal to medal and we were always backing ourselves, we just had to prove it to everyone.
“The grand final was such a great game to be a part of. I thought we had it, but things can change quickly. The result sucked at the end, but we were still proud of silver.”sScanlon is hoping that 2020 can now live up to the level of this year.
“Hopefully 2020 will be just as big.”