Shelly Boston signs on for NBL1 season with Mandurah Magic after six year hiatus

BACK IN THE GAME: Mandurah Basketball legend Shelly Boston has returned to Mandurah Magic for the 2022 NBL1 season. Picture: Mandurah Basketball Association.

BACK IN THE GAME: Mandurah Basketball legend Shelly Boston has returned to Mandurah Magic for the 2022 NBL1 season. Picture: Mandurah Basketball Association.

Shelly Boston started her basketball career in the 90s after a phone call from parliament house.

On the other end of the phone was then Rockingham MLA Mike Barnett, the namesake for the Mike Barnett Stadium, who asked Boston if she would play basketball for him with the Rockingham Flames.

Boston, who had always been a netballer, said yes - and after Barnett took her to learn how to dribble and navigate the game - she fell in love with it.

"Netball was never quite for me. Once I had tried basketball, no other sport compared, it was meant for me," Shelly said.

"I'm sort of a power athlete, I've always been strong and tall and there's a physical side of basketball which really appeals to me."

When Boston was pregnant with her second little boy, she stopped playing and went on a hiatus for six years, but she hadn't retired - and her heart was still in the game.

"My second baby never slept - so playing for that next season was off the table.

"But last year I went to Milo's (Casey Mihovilovich) 500th game, and when I was there she asked me if I wanted to play in the masters games that were going to be held in October of last year."

GOING STRONG: Boston says she credits her long career with luck, and looking after her body. Picture: Richard Polden.

GOING STRONG: Boston says she credits her long career with luck, and looking after her body. Picture: Richard Polden.

Boston said at this time she felt she had lost a lot of her fitness and stamina, but decided to give it a go.

"From that moment a switch turned on and I went to the gym and started working hard.

"COVID ended up cancelling the masters games but I was already on the path."

Milo then gave Boston a call to invite her for a shootaround with some of the Magic girls.

"The next thing I knew I was playing in a basketball tournament," she laughed.

When she made her way out onto the court with the Mandurah Magic women for the first time in years, Boston said she knew she was home.

"The minute I was on that court my heart started fluttering and I was just so happy to be back.

"Mandurah basketball - it's just unlike any team in the world, it's a family and I'm right back at my home again."

Boston said she credited "a lot of luck", and years spent taking care of her body for the impressive length of her career.

"I've always placed a lot of importance on my body and looking after it - I've always stretched and I get into the freezing cold water in winter to help my body recover.

"It does come down to a lot of luck - and of course having a family that supports and helps me."