Capitals Academy call on WNBL legend Tracey Peacock as injury strikes

The Canberra Capitals Academy have turned to a five-time WNBL champion in a bid to escape a crippling injury "curse" with Tracey Peacock dusting off the basketball shoes to guide the next generation of stars.

A horror injury toll saw the Capitals Academy assistant coach elevated onto the team sheet with half of the roster unavailable last weekend – and she was inches away from being thrown into the firing line by head coach Debbie Cook.

Canberra Capitals Academy assistant coach Tracey Peacock and her son Bowyn.

Canberra Capitals Academy assistant coach Tracey Peacock and her son Bowyn.

The 202 centimetre tall 39-year-old is in line to suit up for Canberra for their SEABL clash with the Ballarat Rush at Belconnen Basketball Stadium on Friday night – but the veteran of 352 WNBL games will only get on the court if they are "in dire straits".

The Capitals Academy has also been boosted by the inclusion of Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Canberra's prized WNBL recruit Kelsey Griffin in her comeback from ankle surgery.

"I'm still involved with basketball with my coaching and that basically makes me next in line to get a call up to the playing field," Peacock said, having played in the WNBL as Tracey Beatty.

"I suited up last weekend and I was close to coming on but will not be used unless we are in absolute dire straits.

"If I do get on the court it's going to be a shuffle up and down the court, not that I was ever quick anyway but I'm certainly slower now."

The injury toll is headlined by experienced duo Kate Gaze and Sarah McAppion who both suffered anterior cruciate ligament tears.

Joining them on the sidelines are Callie Bourne [foot], Chloe Tugliach [shoulder] and youngster Pyper Thornberry, with Maddison Penn unavailable due to personal reasons.

It has left the Capitals Academy with half of their first-choice roster unavailable and the ensuing seven-game losing streak has derailed a promising start to the season, but 19-year-old point guard Abby Cubillo believes Canberra can reverse their fortunes to finish the season on a high.

"It feels like our team is cursed, when you come to close to us there's an injury," Cubillo said.

"It's just some adversity that we have to face and get over and pull together with the girls we still have to see what we can make out of it.

"It's very exciting for us younger girls having an Opal [Kelsey Griffin] come in and us being able to learn off her at training is special. She's a leader out on the court which helps us with the absence of those that we're missing."

SEABL ROUND 13

Friday: Canberra Capitals Academy v Ballarat Rush at Belconnen Basketball Stadium, 6pm.

Saturday: Canberra Capitals Academy v Sydney Uni Sparks at Belconnen Basketball Stadium, 5:30pm; Canberra Gunners v Mt Gambier Pioneers at Belconnen Basketball Stadium, 6pm.

Sunday: Canberra Gunners v Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence at Belconnen Basketball Stadium, 3pm.

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