New Giants women’s coach boasts strong basketball ties in Goldfields

Neale HarveyKalgoorlie Miner
Goldfields Giants women’s coach Jaymi  Worthington.
Camera IconGoldfields Giants women’s coach Jaymi Worthington. Credit: Madeleine Clark/Kalgoorlie Miner

Jaymi Worthington’s ascent to head coach of the Goldfields Giants’ women’s team for the 2024 NBL1 season is supported by a glowing record across many years at domestic level.

Worthington, who last week was the first female appointed to a head coaching role since the club’s inception in 1990, boasts 11 division one premierships for Olympians and is club president who hails from arguably the region’s most prominent basketball family.

Her extensive links to the local game dates back to 1954 when her late grandfather, Jack Neil, started Olympians at the old Eastern Goldfields YMCA.

Neil, who died in 2003, was the first president when the association was formed on April 9, 1960.

Worthington assumes the head coaching role after three seasons as an assistant in the women’s program.

“Since transitioning from player to a coach, I’ve really enjoyed it,” she said.

“Obviously it’s going to be challenging, but I’m looking forward to that challenge.

“I think that anyone who doesn’t have a few nerves is probably not taking it seriously enough.

“There’s always that bit of apprehension and you want to do well, but you need to have a few nerves to help drive you.

“A good amount of nerves is always a good thing.”

Worthington said she headed into the new role with a passion for developing girls and women’s basketball in the region.

“I want this program to succeed to keep girls playing basketball, interested and thriving,” she said.

“These are opportunities that I didn’t have when I was growing up in Kalgoorlie.

“Its success will also only make our domestic league stronger as we can filter our girls through the WABL and NBL1 system with the addition of a couple of imports to help develop our juniors and current senior players.

“We’ve had a great build-up from Rob (outgoing head coach Rob Thomson) over the last couple of years and we’ve got a few girls who have stepped up really well to the league.

“We’ve just got to build on that and while I’m inexperienced in the NBL1 head role, I am a hard worker and I will make sure that I’m doing my very best to be the best coach that I can be at this level.”

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