‘Fantastic leader’ Freeburn proves her worth on the road
HEIDI Freeburn quantifies what it means to be a good leader.
She can take control of a match when needed or play a sacrificial role to make her teammates stand out. On the court she is one of the hardest workers and off it, her guiding hand and selfless application makes her team better.
All the qualities that make Freeburn a valuable asset to Mackay Basketball and the Meteorettes were on show at the weekend, when the skipper led the way on the road in Bundaberg and Gladstone.
The seven-strong skeleton crew travelled south and defied the odds to return to Mackay with a flawless 4-0 season record intact.
Freeburn was a big reason why.
When the Meteorettes needed her knowledge, experience and nous the most, Freeburn delivered in spades.
She shared top scoring duties with Sara Storeshaw in the 90-62 win over Gladstone on Sunday, having led the way in the Meteorettes' 72-50 rout of the Bundaberg Bears a day earlier.
When Scott McKenzie's side made a pointscoring run in the second quarter on Sunday to break the hosts' back, it was Freeburn who pulled the strings.
She dished out assists for fun as the experienced campaigner racked up individual points and minutes, a day after spending 40 minutes on court in Bundaberg.
It led McKenzie to applaud his captain's efforts which without context might have seemed minor, but were absolutely pivotal to making the weekend a winning one.
"She's what leaders are supposed to be," McKenzie said.
"She does all the hard yakka for us. She plays defence on their best players … (and) in games where we get reckless, I get her to huddle them up and speak to them, to calm them down.
"She leads by example. That's the biggest thing."
The Meteorettes took just seven players south for the toughest trip on the ConocoPhillips CQ Cup schedule, with the team's young stars representing - and dominating - the U18s in Townsville.
Freeburn played nearly 80 minutes over the two games.
She was not the only player forced to push their limits at the weekend - the whole squad deserves plaudits - but Freeburn was, as always, the one to lead by example.
"She's not shooting the ball as well as she wants, but on Sunday when we went on a run in that second quarter she dished up I reckon six assists in a row, which gave us the 10-nil run we needed," McKenzie said.
"She's not far off having a huge game but even then, she's able to involve everyone."