Eagle Returns to the Nest
The 2018 SEABL season has brought a level of basketball to Diamond Valley that hasn’t been seen in a long time. It was also an opportunity to attract some talent from the national stage. While there were many new faces at the start of 2018, there was also one that used to call Diamond Valley home. Lauren Scherf was excited to return to where it all began!
Lauren started playing for the Hurstbridge Hurricanes when she was 10 years old. Starting in a team of friends, ‘Loz’ was quick to pick up the skills of the game and after just 1 year of playing, made the U12 first team at Diamond Valley. That year her team won the Victorian Championship, which was just the beginning of a long line of success for Lauren! The next year she made the Victorian Primary School state team and won gold at the Pacific School Games.
Lauren spent two more years at Diamond Valley, during which time she went to the Australian Club Championships both years, winning bronze and silver medals. These teams also included Amy O’Neill and Carly Turner (both currently playing division 1 college in America).
“I loved my time at Diamond Valley, and had a lot of success at the club playing for Lorraine and Mike Kapnoullas,” Lauren said, “however the opportunity came up to play for Paul Simpson at the Melbourne Tigers and that felt like the best fit for me.”
Making the move to the Tigers for U16s, Lauren went on to have great individual and team success, winning Victorian Championships and National Junior Classics to finish her junior career. Off the back of playing in many big games and impressing coaches across the state, Lauren made the Victorian Metro state side all 4 years in U16s and U18s. Her top age year of U16s, she was able to win a Gold Medal in front of her family as the National Championships were held in Kilsyth. Her performances on the National stage led to a 6 month stint at the Australian Institute of Sport (now known as the Centre of Excellence) where she worked on her craft with some of Australia’s top coaches.
Lauren has also represented Australia on multiple occasions, going to 3 World Championships, and winning 2 Bronze medals in 2013 and 2015 as part of the U19 Australian Gems side. Lauren also went to the World University Games for Australia in 2015 and 2017. Along with Eagle junior, Carly Turner, the 2017 side won Gold in Taipei.
During this time, Lauren has also been playing in the WNBL, starting with the Dandenong Rangers. She was named the 2013/14 Rookie of the Year and has had the chance to play alongside the likes of Penny Taylor, Leilani Mitchell and Cappe Pondexter. In 2017 she signed at the University of Canberra Capitals, where she played with fellow SEABL Eagles: Abbey Wehrung, Ezi Magbegor, Chevannah Paalvast and Maddy Rocci.
When deciding on coming back to play for Diamond Valley in the 2018 SEABL season, teammates and the ability to play close to home were definite factors, “Being able to play with 4 of my teammates again from Canberra; Abbey, Ezi, Chevy and Maddie was a major influence but also, moving back home and therefore made it an easy decision to come play for the Eagles,” said Lauren, “We definitely have had our fair share of challenges this season but l wouldn't have done it with a better bunch of girls. They make training not only fun but we also know when to be competitive and motivate one another to be better. We have one goal in mind and that is currently to make the finals.”
Lauren has taken full advantage of the opportunity given to her this season, being a dominating force for the Eagles. She currently averages 22.2 points and 13.7 rebounds a game, having been named to the SEABL team of the week multiple times and earned her 2nd Player of the Week nomination in round 13! With only 2 games remaining in the season, Lauren and the team are right in contention for finals.
You can support Lauren and the SEABL women in their last home game of 2018 on July 21st against the Ballarat Miners! Tip-off is 6pm and entry is $10 for adults and $5 for children 17 years and under.