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Mandy Makes it 100

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This Saturday night, Mandy Zennaro will celebrate 100 Big V Games. Mandy has been a fixture at Blackburn, not only playing her whole career at the club but also giving back by coaching a number of seasons in our junior representative program. We caught up with Mandy prior to the game.

Blackburn Vikings: Thanks for joining us. Congratulations on reaching 100 games, how does it feel to get this far?
Mandy Zennaro: Thanks. Fells good, it’s been a fun ride.

BV: So what have been some of your other highlights in your career?
MZ: A big highlight for me would definitely be going on the USA Tour 2011/12 and playing in the Division 2 Grand Final Series.

BV: When did you start playing Big V?
MZ: I started on the training squad at Blackburn in 2009, just sitting on the bench and I started playing with the big girls in 2011.

BV: And when did you start playing basketball?
MZ: I started playing basketball when I was about 5. Training in the Mozzies program down at slater – all the cool kids at school were doing it.

BV: Is it true that when you first started playing rep you almost didn’t make it?
MZ: Well, our first year of under 12’s wasn’t a cracker. We spent the season training for some reason there was no place for us in the competition. Until today we’ve all gone with the story that our team was too good for the comp, but our parents have now finally let us in on the secret (took their time, we’re 23).
Me? I was also a little chubba, lacking fitness and coordination, I always loved basketball, but I guess donuts came first, I had to change that up a little.

BV: What made you stick at it?
MZ: Mainly my family, teammates, coaches and want to be good at the game. I really wanted to give the game a go. I was lucky people were willing to put the time in to help me out.

BV: What do you enjoy most about the club?
MZ: I’m a big Vikes fan. I love the people, the vibe around the club. The friends that have become family, both teammates and around the club. The president isn’t too bad either (brownie points).

BV: How do you rate your team’s chances this season?
MZ: We’ve come a long way from the start of the season and still have a lot of work to do. But if we keep working and bring the #familytime I think we’re a chance (knock on wood).

BV: What are the goals for the rest of your career?
MZ: Play as many games as possible and try and win a few Championships along the road!

BV: If you could offer any advice for young players what would it be?
MZ: Push yourself, listen to your coaches, enjoy your team and have fun!

BV: Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to?
MZ: Obviously family, especially my parents for their support and personal coaching. All my senior and junior coaches, shout out to Jimmy who put a lot of time into my game!
My teammates – who are all legends. Bucks for being patient! And of course the club, for giving me the opportunity to play as a Vike!

BV: Thanks Mandy. Congratulations on reaching 100 games.

Mandy will celebrate her 100th Big V game this Saturday at 6.00pm at Knox Basketball Stadium as our Division 1 Women take on the ladder leading Warrnambool Mermaids. Tickets are available at the door and are just $6 for adults and $3 for kids. Blackburn juniors in their uniform are admitted free.

BigVShane Quill