Stewart primed for stellar season

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
New Printsync South West Slammers recruit Mari Stewart has been putting in work during her off-season in California.
Camera IconNew Printsync South West Slammers recruit Mari Stewart has been putting in work during her off-season in California. Credit: Supplied

She might not be reporting to training camp for another six weeks, but new Printsync South West Slammers US import Mari Stewart only knows one way in basketball — getting it done.

Highly rated by Slammers women’s coach Nathan Grover, Stewart told the South Western Times she has been maintaining a rigorous training program over the festive season, in order to be cherry-ripe for selection when she arrives Down Under.

“I like to have about three different workouts a day,” she said.

“Swimming is also big part of my off-season regiment. I like to swim at least one mile (1.6km) a day so I can keep my lungs strong.

“I also like to shoot the ball.

“Not just to sharpen my skills but it’s a great outlet for me, always leave the court feeling better than when I got there.”

But given her hard work and a big season looming in the SBL, the forward managed to enjoy some festive treats with loved ones in her hometown of Templeton, California.

“I love to spend the off-season around family,” she said. “Not just for the fun but also the food.

“My dad is a great cook so I eat good at home.”

And here is a tip for Slammers fans — if you see Stewart, pictured, dancing in and around the paint this season with a spring in her step, there is every chance it could be due to her unique pre-game routine.

“I actually watch dance performances to get pumped up before a game,” Stewart said.

“I put on one or two of them before I get to the gym for the game or on the way to the game if it is an away game. Then I listen to slower music during shoot around.”

Despite hailing from one of the largest states in the US, Templeton is a small town, which Stewart believes has given her a solid grounding for wherever her love of basketball may take her in future.

Although the charismatic forward is grateful the South West is unlikely to register any snowfall during her stint.

“I do enjoy the heat and the high temperatures — which pretty much are norm during the summer here,” she said.

“However, my time playing basketball in colder countries has really brought out my wimpy side. I never knew how cold living in the snow could be.”

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