Barry’s big record

Smithton Saint Alisha Barry (centre) was surrounded by teammates (back from left) Sarah Jaegar, Jo Morgan-French, Sophie Furphy, Diamond Richardson, (front) Bree Birtwhistle and Emerson Wells during her North West Basketball Union record breaking game last week. Picture: Ashleigh Force.

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Milestone. Smithton Basketball Club stalwart Alisha Barry has claimed a North West Basketball Union record.

The local talent notched 479 league games during the Saints’ round 12 clash with Devonport Warriors last Tuesday.

Starting her career with Somerset Heat in 1990, Barry transferred to the Ulverstone Hoppers in ’92 where she made league history as the sixth female to play for two different clubs in the same season, playing four games with Somerset and 13 with Ulverstone.

Barry notched 79 games with the Hoppers from ’92 to ’95 before returning to the Heat in ’96 where she totalled 67 games across three-and-a-half seasons before a tempting offer arose.

Approached by Smithton Basketball Club the following year, Barry signed a one year contract. However two decades on she remains in the red, black and white. 

“I love this club, they welcomed me and I’ve made some great friendships. That’s what is most important to me, the friendships and social connections I’ve made.”

Earning a premiership title in the year of 1999, a second followed in 2004.

Retiring after the 2016 season, Barry has laced up this year as playing coach to add experience to the Saints’ side.

“I’m only playing a few minutes here and there,” she says, with her main focus being on supporting the young squad.

“It’s not the reason why I’ve come back to play, I’ve had my time, it’s more important that the club continues to grow and is supported.”

Since her career launched, Barry has missed just six seasons and is proud to watch as daughter Sophie Furphy progresses through the ranks.

Having coached the Under 22 squad last year and taken on the Seniors this season, Barry says her focus is on improvement and building the young squad towards senior success.

“Being so young, the Senior competition is really a stepping stone from Under 22s, so if we can build on Under 22 side then our Senior program will take off.

“We just have to be competitive and take it to them.”

Barry claims the NWBU title from former teammate and sister-in-law Katrina Furphy who notched 478 games from 1991 to 2015, missing only the 2012 and ’13 seasons.

Playing against Somerset Heat in Smithton on Tuesday, Barry marked 480 games.

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