Australian National Team Calls on Burton
- By Katie Kane
- June 10, 2013 01:49 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Following a tryout held this past week, former West Virginia University women’s basketball standout Natalie Burton was selected to play on the Australian National Team.
During her career as a Mountaineer, Burton experienced four consecutive postseason appearances with the WNIT in 2009, followed by three NCAA appearances. She left WVU with a degree in finance in May 2012 and returned home to Perth, Australia.
Since leaving Morgantown, Burton decided to put her degree to work as she started a position in the financial advising business. She continued her studies toward a diploma in Australia in financial planning, in order to become an advisor, but wasn’t ready to throw in the towel when it came to the game she loved.
“As soon as I got back I started playing basketball with my old team in the State Basketball League,” Burton explained. “I only played five games as it was the end of that season, but soon after that I was asked to play for the West Coast Waves in the WNBL.”
The WNBL stands for the Women’s National Basketball League and is the preeminent women’s professional basketball league in Australia. It soon became clear that Burton would not only participate in the WNBL, but WVU had prepared her to excel.
“I had my first season in that league, and I won Rookie of the Year for my team. Now I am back to playing in the State Basketball League, and I'll be playing for the same WNBL team in the upcoming season in October,” Burton said. “The WNBL is different than the NCAA in that we play a different style of game over here. It is a lot more finesse style of play, with quick and very versatile posts. Most post players over here have a strong inside and outside game, and every player is expected to be able to bring the ball up the floor if need be. I had to adjust a bit as I was used to being so concentrated on only playing in the post.”
Burton’s hard work and efforts on the court paid off as continues to make a name for herself. One of the coaches involved with the Australian National Team gave Burton a call, inviting her to a tryout for the Opals.
“The head coach was only just announced so it was the first camp with the new coach and the first time the team had been back together since the Olympic Games in London last year,” Burton explained.
So Burton packed up her shoes and was on her way to the nation’s capital, Canberra, for a five-day camp to showcase her abilities.
“We trained twice a day. They hold these camps every few months or so, and this camp was to get selected to play three games in China with the national team, and also to go to the World University Games in Russia in July. I was selected to both teams.”
Although she is no longer in the United States, Burton has taken her West Virginia game international and she plans to shine on the Australian National Team.