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From professional basketballer to enthusiastic coach to espresso expert, Jess Bibby is a woman of many talents.
As a female athlete, Jess had to work hard to sustain her career from the age of 16 when she started playing in the WNBL. She retired from her position with the Canberra Capitals at the end of last season and is now focussing on her new venture, Shotclock Espresso.
“There’s absolutely no doubt that I’d still be playing if I could have been paid as a professional and had the opportunity to get the appropriate amount of sleep and recovery rather than being on my feet at work for eight hours a day before going to practise,” she says.
“I’m 36 years old and for 20 years basically I’ve had to work a full time job while being a professional athlete. I would challenge any of the NRL or AFL guys to do that and to play at the level I was playing at.”
As she approached the end of her basketball career, Jess knew she needed a game plan for her future. She came up with the concept of Shotclock Espresso because it allows her to indulge her other passion: coffee.
“I deliberately took time off playing basketball last winter to start the transition, and that’s when I bought my coffee trailer,” she explains. “I really enjoyed dipping my toe in the water last winter, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens when August comes around, when preseason practise will be kicking off without me.”
According to Jess, she is too competitive to play amateur basketball just yet but she is interested in the increasing profile of other women’s sports such as soccer and AFL.
“There’s the element of playing with friends, which I would like to do with basketball,” she says, “but I’m also looking at playing some other sports. I always loved cricket as a kid. As I get more comfortable as a retired basketballer I might look for something else to sink by teeth into.”
She has also coached basketball throughout her career, and enjoys working with kids of all ages and abilities and sharing her skills, even if it does occasionally make her nervous now she is no longer at her physical peak.
“When I’m coaching sometimes I question whether I’ll still be able to do it,” she laughs, “but surprisingly I can still shoot the ball pretty well. It’s nice to really talk to kids about my experiences and help them with their game. Hopefully a little bit of my knowledge can stick with them.”
Of course, Jess won’t be slowing down just because she is technically retired from the sport. The name Shotclock Espresso refers to the countdown of the 24 seconds that each team has to take a shot, and emphasises Jess’s high-energy approach to all aspects of her life.
“It’s going to be a big winter because I’ve got a whole lot of events around town that I’ll be at with Shotclock, but I’m really looking forward to it. And I’m certainly going to be getting my season ticket for the Capitals, I’ll be there cheering them on too.”
Feature image via www.canberra.edu.au