Blicavs just the shot to give AIS a much-needed boost
AIS COACH Phil Brown reckons Sara Blicavs ''has never seen a shot she hasn't liked''.
But that is meant as a compliment to the exciting prospect rated one of the ''next big things'' in the Australian game.
Athletic forward Blicavs scored 27 points to help AIS to a 68-67 WNBL win over Townsville on Friday night at the AIS training hall, its first victory of the season.
Brown described the 18-year-old's attacking mindset as a breath of fresh air, and an aspect sorely missing in the Australian game.
Blicav's parents, Karen and Andy, both played for Australia and were heavily offensive-minded.
The apple hasn't fallen far from the tree.
''She's never seen a shot she hasn't liked, and her mum and dad were the same,'' Brown said.
''That's not a criticism, that's great.
''Lauren Jackson, Penny Taylor, Trish Fallon ... you can probably count on one hand [Australians] who've been world-class scorers, and Sara potentially could be one of those players.
''Certainly in the women's game we haven't had a lot of players that have an unbelievable offensive presence.
''Sara's picked up the athleticism [from her parents], and certainly the scoring orientation is not an issue.''
Blicavs is intent on building a career that matches or even surpasses her parents, who both retired prematurely with knee injuries.
Watching footage of their days in green and gold has inspired Blicavs to try to travel the same path.
''I always hear coaches talk about my parents and say they were pretty good, and you just want to be like them, or even better,'' Blicavs said.
''That's definitely my number one goal to make Opals and if I could get on a camp before the 2016 Olympics, that'd be great.''
Certainly Brown believes the raw qualities are there for Blicavs to forge an international career.
Quick for a player with an 188cm frame, Blicavs has worked on her inside presence to complement her potent perimeter game.
''I think she could [represent Australia],'' Brown said.
''Like any 18-year-old she's still got a lot of work to do, but clearly she has the characteristics and tools to go on and be an Opal for sure if she keeps working at it.''
The Victorian, and fellow AIS standout Olivia Thompson, will be hot property when rival WNBL clubs talk to AIS players during next month's recruiting window.
''Certainly they're going to graduate as highly sought after players in this league,'' he said.