Steph Blicavs, Ashleigh Karaitiana carry their youngsters alongside for the WNBL season

“She supplies a number of good vitality.”

Arlo is ever current within the social media feeds of his mum’s teammates too.

“He has that many new aunties, he’s having the time of his life,” Blicavs stated.

“Particularly coming from Victoria the place we had been in a little bit of a lockdown, now we will go to the pool, go to the parks. He’s loving it.”

The WNBL has lengthy had gamers journey with youngsters for brief highway journeys or at coaching however this season is totally different, with groups transferring between Cairns and Townsville and enjoying a condensed schedule of video games completely in Queensland.


Blicavs, 30, and Karaitiana, 28, did not have any intentions of stopping their basketball careers post-birth however neither might have deliberate for such a demanding season.

In addition they confronted a child-minding drawback simply weeks earlier than the season as a Basketball Australia plan to supply a baby-sitting service throughout video games fell by means of resulting from insurance coverage and legal responsibility points.

BA has nonetheless paid for carers however the gamers wanted to seek out them.

Blicavs could not carry her husband Kris to Queensland resulting from his work commitments whereas each units of grandparents could not depart Victoria. Arlo’s aunt Sara Blicavs performs with Steph on the Flyers so could not assist a lot both.

Happily, the Flyers had been capable of carry their therapeutic massage therapist who has doubled as Arlo’s carer throughout video games.

Karaitiana was lucky her associate Matthew Wilson might be a part of her in north Queensland to assist, whereas throughout video games teammate Cayla George, who has sturdy connections in Cairns and Townsville, helped her supply babysitters.

Melbourne Boomers' Ashleigh Karaitiana with her daughter Kalea.

Melbourne Boomers’ Ashleigh Karaitiana together with her daughter Kalea.Credit score:Getty Photographs

“I discovered that out whereas we had been in quarantine in order that was a fairly worrying 48 hours,” Karaitiana stated.

“If we might have organised all this beforehand it could have been loads much less worrying however BA did present the cash to pay for anybody we will get.

“I completely perceive, it was simply poorly timed.”

Final yr Karaitiana resumed coaching simply 5 weeks after giving start so she might assist the Tall Ferns make the Olympics, they fell simply brief of their final qualifying sport and she or he feels far stronger after enjoying within the Queensland NBL1 season this winter.

“The powerful half is when my mind is telling me to do one thing and my physique would not do it,” Karaitiana stated with amusing.

“I’d be saying ‘crossover’ however I would just dribble it off my foot. I would find yourself off stability as a result of you find yourself being top-heavy whereas breastfeeding.”

Karaitiana confirmed her capturing expertise have not diminished when she knocked down a game-changing 18 factors together with six three-pointers in her aspect’s upset win 89-72 win over the Flyers final week.

Each Melbourne groups have Three-1 information after 4 video games.

“It is simpler by way of the infant enjoying a shorter season nevertheless it undoubtedly takes a toll in your physique,” Karaitiana stated.

“We have now been fairly lucky as we now have Gaylene McKay [a 300-game WNBL player] as our physio, so she has sorted us very well.”

Kris Blicavs is a power and conditioning coach so has labored intently with Steph to regain her bodily health. Having Sara to work out with throughout lockdown additionally helped.

“It has turned out higher than I anticipated,” Blicavs stated.

“My husband is a power and conditioning coach in order that was a bonus for me, he has all of the sources and is aware of what to do. It’s helpful to have a husband who is aware of what he’s doing.”

Blicavs had not performed since her Adelaide Lightning fell brief to Canberra within the WNBL grand closing collection in February 2019.

Having Arlo alongside for the journey has altered her perspective.

“If something there may be much less stress now,” Blicavs stated.

“I’ve come again from having a child, simply getting again to enjoying has been an enormous step for me.”

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