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Sharin Milner shoots Boomers home
Guy Hand
19:36 AEST Sun Mar 13 2011

You get a shorter stretch for armed robbery than Sharin Milner has spent at the Bulleen Boomers and in the Women's National Basketball League.

The breakout came for both the veteran guard and the club she has spent 10 years with on Sunday as they won their first grand final - something which had eluded the Boomers in their 28 years in the WNBL.

For Milner, who played out of her skin to double her career average with 27 points in a thumping win over the Canberra Capitals, it was particularly satisfying.

The 30-year-old has lived through the Boomers' struggles with financial pressures, stints at the bottom of the league and mid-table mediocrity for much of her career there.

The turning point came two years ago when former Opals coach Tom Maher took charge.

Milner says she's learned more in the past two seasons than the previous 15.

The upward curve and belief were evident as she produced a remarkable individual performance.

Maher instructed Milner to shoot more. She did, and in doing so, shot out the lights at Melbourne's State Netball and Hockey Centre.

Eleven times she sent the ball up. Nine went in. She finally missed her first shot 20 seconds before halftime.

She missed another in the second, but by then the game was already won and Milner deservedly was named the game's most valuable player.

The Boomers' success has been built on developing quality young players - US-bound Liz Cambage the most outstanding.

Milner believes after toppling a dynasty in beating the seven-time champion Capitals, Bulleen might be on their way to developing something of their own.

"We're not that club that's never won a championship any more," she said.

"You've got the culture, you've got the good coaching, and I can see the club having a lot of success now, considering how young a lot of these girls are now.

"They'll go and play internationally, but Bulleen is their home."


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