'Char' leaves with fondest of memories
BASKETBALL: One of McDonalds Gladstone Port City Power's greatest-ever women players Charmian Mellars has moved to Brisbane.
Char, as she is affectionately known through basketball circles, and husband Vince are in the building phase of their fitness-based Rogue Conditioning business.
But she found the decision to head south very hard.
"We have loved and grown very attached to Gladstone," Charmian said.
"I loved my job at Toolooa State High School, Vince loved training our athletes at Rogue Conditioning and eldest son Haizyn has an amazing group of friends which he did not want to leave."
Charmian has had a decorated career in which she also represented New Zealand at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and also played in the WNBL with Christchurch Sirens.
She played 16 matches in 2017 and averaged 10.38 points per game as well as hauling in nine rebounds per outing after she made her debut in 2015.
"I was training with the team when we first moved to Gladstone in 2014 and didn't end up signing until 2015 and played three full seasons for Gladstone," she said.
The memories and friends that she and the family have made is something Charmian holds dear to her heart.
"They are just great people and the club is a family," she said.
"It was so nice to be welcomed into the basketball community and we will forever be grateful to the countless people who we met, became friends with and grew to love.
"Gladstone basketball has put so much into our family, including our children and we have truly been blessed."
So which club will Char play in Brisbane?
"Not sure at this stage and I might just take a break and see how things pan out," she said.
Charmian did say that she would love to be reunited with her sisters Natalie Taylor and Melbourne Boomers' WNBL star Kalani Purcell.
The latter pair also play for Brisbane Spartans in the QBL.
"That would be amazing though not quite sure at this stage," Charmian said.
"It would definitely be a great way to say goodbye to an old friend who has been with me through everything... I owe so much to the game of basketball.
"For that I will forever be grateful to my parents for introducing me to the game," she said.
Unfortunately for Purcell, Boomers lost the WNBL grand final series 2-1 to Townsville Flames, but Charmian lauded her sister.
"(I was) extremely nervous, but I know my sister and she is a fantastic player, who is extremely composed and works well under pressure, so I knew she'd be fine," she said of how Purcell would play in the decider.
"It was was great to be there with her live."