Gun Mandurah recruit all set to lead Goldfields Giants by example for NBL1 debut

Neale HarveyKalgoorlie Miner
Wolves' Eleanor Hartill defends Giants' Emma Klasztorny.
Camera IconWolves' Eleanor Hartill defends Giants' Emma Klasztorny. Credit: Indiana Lysaght/Kalgoorlie Miner

As she prepares for a second local stint as a prized recruit for the Goldfields Giants’ women’s team, Mandurah’s Emma Klasztorny couldn’t help but reflect on the circumstances that brought her here in the first place.

With more than 200 SBL/NBL1 games to her credit, the 27-year-old comes in as easily the Giants’ most experienced player — among a largely young and raw group preparing for an historic step up from the WABL.

Klasztorny’s Goldfields links, including a stint with CBC at domestic level, date back to late 2019 — as part of an off-season break from commitments with Mandurah Magic.

Emma Klasztorny flies for a three point shot.
Camera IconEmma Klasztorny takes a three-point shot. Credit: Indiana Lysaght/Kalgoorlie Miner

“I was working in retail, but only planned to be in Kalgoorlie for six months to earn some money,” Klasztorny said.

“But because of COVID-19, it turned into 18 months, due to lockdowns and everything else that was happening.

“I retained my job, earned a bit of money and bought a house, but the 2020 season was cancelled once COVID hit.

“The other downside was that there was no NBL1 (women’s) side there (in Kalgoorlie-Boulder) at the time and I still wanted to play (high-level) basketball.

“That’s when I made the move home (to Mandurah), at the start of 2021, to continue playing in the NBL1.”

But the Giants’ NBL1 promotion, signed off on last August, forced a rethink of her goals.

“Once I found out Kalgoorlie would have an NBL1 team in, I considered it, but couldn’t decide at all,” Klasztorny said.

“Then a job opportunity came up and where I am right now, it was a smarter choice for me to go back (to the Goldfields).

“If it’s two years, it’s two years and we’ll see what happens.

“But I think it will just be very cool to be part of that inaugural team.”

Alongside US import Amanda Wayment and 2021 co-captains Jemma Gatti and Aimee Borchet, Klasztorny will carry a big workload.

She is, however, ready for the challenge.

“I’m trying to grow myself, as a player, and hopefully I can show the girls the way with my actions,” she said.

“Actions speak louder than words, in my opinion, and I am very excited about the next steps for the team.

“It’s essentially a brand new team, with no experience in the league — it’s a massive step up for everyone, and it will take us a few games to get into the swing of things.

“But I love the competitiveness of everyone and if we can carry that throughout the season, I believe we can go further than perhaps many think.

“We’re not going to go in and win the whole thing straight away.

“But we will be very competitive.”

Klasztorny doubts fitness will be an issue, but conceded each player had big challenges ahead.

“Across the board, it will be far tougher, simply because we haven’t played at the next level,” she said.

“But everyone is expected to bring the right attitude and mindset and they are the traits which can take us further.”

Klasztorny is due back in Kalgoorlie-Boulder at the end of the month.

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