Ballarat Rush signs Kristy Rinaldi for 2020 NBL1 season

BALLING: Kristy Rinaldi playing for the Ballarat in 2018.
BALLING: Kristy Rinaldi playing for the Ballarat in 2018.

Kristy Rinaldi is coming back to Ballarat.

Just days after resigning star-import Chanise Jenkins, Ballarat Rush made another splash by announcing Rinaldi would be back in blue and gold for the 2020 NBL1 season.

The 13-year veteran played 297 games in the now abolished SEABL competition before announcing her retirement in 2018.

She continued her playing career in the Big V Championships competition, before opting to showcase her skills with Selkirk Rush in the NBL1 competition.

"I'm very excited to be back for season 2020 with the Selkirk Ballarat Rush," she said.

"I absolutely love the town and the club. I'm looking forward to continuing my career in Ballarat."

Rinaldi played away at Broadmeadows in 2019, but admitted she watched the Rush from a far in the inaugural NBL1 season.

"I kept an eye on the team last season and really liked the way the girls were playing," she said.

"There's a few familiar faces so it will be good to get back on the court with them."

Rinaldi will bring an experience and poise to the Rush roster which was at times lacking in 2019, as it slumped to a 12th-placed finish.

Former Rush player Lynly Doherty, who now assists with player recruitment, said she was excited to see Rinaldi return to Ballarat.

HOMECOMING: Kristy Rinaldi at the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre after re-signing with the Ballarat Rush for the 2020 NBL1 season. Picture: Lachlan Bence

HOMECOMING: Kristy Rinaldi at the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre after re-signing with the Ballarat Rush for the 2020 NBL1 season. Picture: Lachlan Bence

"Kristy symbolises all the qualities we endeavour to instill in our juniors coming through the program," she said.

"She has love for the game, passion to grow and be the best she can be, and commitment and respect for her club and teammates."

The 2020 season will be a transitional year for Ballarat teams as they move into their new home court at the Ballarat Sports Events Centre.

Rinaldi said she was looking forward to playing at the new centre, under Selkirk Ballarat Rush Coach Eric Hayes.

She believed the club was heading in the right direction.

"I've played under Eric before and I know what he expects of me and the way he likes to play," she said.

This story Rush brings back familiar face for 2020 season | NBL1 first appeared on The Courier.