Erin Phillips playing footy for Port Adelaide and basketball for Los Angeles Sparks. Digitally edited image
Erin Phillips playing footy for Port Adelaide and basketball for Los Angeles Sparks. Digitally edited image

Erin Phillips Explains How Her Footy Background Originally Held Her Basketball Back

Three time premiership Crow and inaugural Port Adelaide AFLW captain Erin Phillips told the Rush Hour with Bernie, Blewey and Jars about how her footy background initially held her WNBA basketball career back.


“I was a pretty horrible basketballer in the beginning,” she said.

“I kept getting fouled out just because I was taking hangers on people and you’re not meant to bump and all that kind of stuff!

“I didn’t actually believe I was gonna have a career in basketball like I did… it took a lot of coaches trying to help reign in the physicality and athleticism that I had.”

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Phillips also spoke about making the decision to take up basketball, saying that she would have stuck with footy if there had been a professional pathway in her youth.

“If footy was around, there’s no doubt about it I would have kept going,” she said.

“I just loved it. Footy was my absolute passion.

“Like so many girls in my situation that couldn’t play with their mates that were all the boys, and I had to find another sport.

“I think looking back… probably the disappointing thing about that whole thing is it was just accepted, and that’s just how it was you know.

“That’s what life was if you were young and a female and loved footy, you just had to give it up.”


The 2x AFLW best and fairest winner said that despite having to come to AFLW much later in life, she loved how her basketball career played out.

“It’s kind of one those things where although I wish I did have an opportunity to play football, I’m very glad I didn’t because I got to experience playing basketball, representing Australia and living around the world playing at a very high level of basketball,” Phillips said.

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“Honestly, I’m really grateful how my life has worked out.”


Phillips spoke at length about what when she decided to call time, saying that she listened to her body earlier this season.

“When I came over to Port Adelaide, I signed a two year deal and my knee was pretty buggered at that point, actually both of them were,” Phillips said.

“I thought you know what, if I can get at least one game in these colours I’d be over the moon, and to come into the second season I gave it a red hot crack in the off-season and got as fit as I possibly could, and felt pretty good.

“Kind of deep down I knew it was gonna be potentially my last season, but by about round four, just after our win against the Saints actually, I thought ‘you know what… this is probably it’.

“I’d loved to have obviously kept playing, but the body was definitely telling me it’s time.

“They say when you retire you know you know, and I definitely know it’s the right time.”

Phillips joined the Rush Hour after calling time on her decorated AFLW career, which included three flags for Adelaide, three All-Australian selections, two AFLW league best and fairests, two Adelaide best and fairests, two AFLW Players’ MVP awards, and being awarded best on ground in the 2017 and 2019 grand finals.

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