BEC COLE - Beyond the court

Bec Cole wearing stitch untitled club tee

From the hardwood courts to the global stage, Bec Cole’s journey in basketball is truly inspiring. When I caught up with Bec, she shared some amazing career highlights, her resilience through tough times, and how women’s sports are evolving.

Bec fell in love with basketball at just seven years old. Over the years, she’s achieved some incredible things. When I asked her about her biggest accomplishments, she split her journey into two parts: junior and senior.

As a junior, getting a spot at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) was a game-changer. It set her up for everything that followed. Winning a Women's National Basketball League (WNBL) championship was another big highlight, and she appreciates it more as time goes on. But what really stands out for Bec is wearing the green and gold jersey for Australia. She remembers how her childhood dreams came true when she stepped onto the court in her country’s colors.

For many young athletes, making it to the Olympics feels like a mystery. Bec broke down how the selection process works. It starts right after one Olympic season ends, with a big squad that gets narrowed down over time. In 3x3 basketball, the stakes are even higher, with only four or five players making the Olympic team. Bec described the intensity and competition, comparing it to the excitement of T20 cricket or rugby sevens. 3x3 basketball is super unique. It mixes music, fashion, and dance with the game, making it a lively and fun experience.

Bec’s path hasn’t been smooth. She’s had to overcome serious injuries and the tough mental journey of rehab. Her first major injury at the AIS could have ended her career, but her determination pushed her to set small goals and make a strong comeback. Injuries hit again later, but Bec tackled them with the same grit. She credits her parents for being her rock, giving her both empathy and tough love. Her dad, a former professional athlete with the Socceroos, really understood the challenges she faced.

We also talked about the amazing success of the Matildas, Australia’s women’s soccer team. Bec is super proud of their achievements and thinks it’s a game-changer for women’s sports in Australia. She loved being at their matches and feeling the energy and support from the fans.

For Bec, playing for her country is deeply significant. It represents years of hard work and dedication. Wearing her name on the back and the nation’s name across the front of her jersey fills her with pride. Bec also talked about handling criticism and scrutiny, especially about her physique. She stressed the importance of self-confidence and ignoring negativity. Her advice to young athletes is clear: find your own path, believe in yourself, and keep a supportive circle around you.

For younger athletes, Bec encourages trying new things. Find out what motivates you, and don’t hesitate to seek help. She emphasized enjoying the journey and celebrating small wins along the way. We also chatted about identity. Is Bec Cole just a basketball player? She admitted that for a long time, she struggled to see herself as anything else. But now, she values having a well-rounded identity and looks forward to exciting possibilities beyond basketball.

Bec Cole’s story is all about resilience, determination, and self-belief. As she keeps inspiring the next generation of athletes, her impact goes far beyond the basketball court.