By Andrew Frackowski
Adelaide’s Erin Phillips is currently in the best form of her basketball career.
Point Guard Erin Phillips has enjoyed many highlights in a stellar basketball career. The daughter of Port Adelaide and Collingwood football champion Greg, has just enjoyed her second Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Championship title.
Today she won a bronze medal in the Australian Opals match against Turkey in the 2014 FIBA World Championship after the Opals went down to the USA by 12 points in yesterday morning’s semi final.
Phillips has been instrumental in her past two matches of the World Championships, yesterday scoring 19 points in their loss to USA and 16 points in the quarter final game against Canada and previously seven assists, six steals and seven points against Belarus in their last group stage match.
Playing for Australia means everything to the class point guard.
“I feel very honoured every time I wear the green and gold,” the 29 year old said.
“I love being an Opal.
“Playing for your country is the highest honour and every time I hear the Australian National Anthem I think about the past Opals who I am representing and the legacy they left.
“I get pretty emotional during the National Anthem”.
Phillips recent WNBA Championship win with the Phoenix Mercury was huge achievement.
“It was just another unbelievable experience,” Phillips explained
“The season we had was phenomenal and I was just so proud of how consistent we were all year
In 2012 Phillips averaged a respectable 13 points per game during the finals of the WNBA Championship.
Being the Indiana Fever’s first ever title win meant a lot to everyone involved.
“The big difference is that in 2012 we were the underdogs by a long shot,” Phillips said.
“We were predicted to get swept but with the team chemistry we had we knew that we could beat anyone.
“Being the Fever's first ever WNBA Championship was very special in itself”.
This year however was a completely different scenario, Phoenix Mercury were the red hot favourites all season.
The Mercury had the professionalism from their coaching staff to their talented line up but most of all their hard training sessions helped to achieve the ultimate goal.
“Being favourites there was a different element of pressure involved”, Phillips explained.
“We had a great head coach and assistant coaches.
“As a team we never took days off and didn’t take anything for granted, working hard every single day”,
“Our team chemistry was better than any other teams in the league and no doubt because we had the best player in the world on our team in Diana Taurasi.”
Philllips was surrounded by class at the Mercury - Diana Taurasi, Candice Dupree and fellow Australian Penny Taylor are three stand outs.
“Diana (Taurasi) to me is the best player in the world – not only is she highly skilful but she has an amazing intellect for the game,” she said
“Candice (Dupree) is nicknamed "The Glove" and she is probably the most classy, smooth player I’ve ever played with.
“She is just beautiful to watch.
“Nothing ever seems to phase her”, Phillips continues
“Penny Taylor is an inspiration to me.
“She has overcome two years of setbacks due to injury and I have admired her work ethic and determination to get back to where she was”.
During the last few WNBL seasons Phillips has played in Europe but she hinted that she would love to return to Adelaide and play for the Lightning in the near future
“I hope so. I definitely would love to come back and play for the Lightning”, Phillips concluded.
“I can't see myself playing anywhere but Adelaide so hopefully It’s not too far around the corner”.
Photo courtesy of Erin Phillips