Marsh retires after 250

Melissa Marsh.
Melissa Marsh.

The back yard was then turned into a full-size basketball court and it was not long before a six-year-old Marsh followed in her older brother Shaun’s footsteps and started playing at the Willetton basketball stadium for Roadies.

‘Every day we would be playing cricket, tennis, football or basketball,’ Marsh said.

‘Shaun would generally win all the time ” he is so talented, it’s scary.

‘I had six years on Mitchy, so I often beat him ” until he grew to 6’4, then it became hard work.’

Her brothers Shaun and Mitch are professional cricketers, and her father Geoff is a former batsman who played 50 Tests and more than 100 one-day internationals for Australia.

Marsh (29) progressed from playing ball in the back yard to travelling all over Australia in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL), playing 266 WNBL games before retiring from the national league this year.

She played her 250th game for the Willetton Tigers in the first game of the quarterfinals against the Rockingham Flames on August 2, after starting with the club in 2000.

Marsh said she retired from the WNBL because she had lost her drive.

‘I wasn’t hungry anymore. I was exhausted. Thirteen years straight took its toll,’ she said.

‘I speak every game about having that hunger to win, hunger to be better and for me it’s back. As long as I have that, I will continue to play for the Tigers.’

Basketball is Marsh’s first love, but she is realistic that it doesn’t pay the bills and has worked hard to find a balance.

‘I love basketball so much, and I have been successful, but I had to look at other option of how to make my living, which is hard when basketball is your greatest passion,’ she said.

Alongside her basketball career, Marsh runs a coaching business and is a guest speaker and mentor.