Netball star Misa selected by Queensland Fusion

Lenora Misa has recovered from two anterior cruciate ligament injuries that kept her off the netball court over the last couple of years.

The 21-year-old starred for Samoa at the Netball World Cup in July, and recently made the Queensland Fusion squad; the feeder team for the Suncorp Super Netball League’s Queensland Firebirds.

Misa said she is excited to have made the squad of 19, which will be cut to a final 12 in February:

“Especially because I haven’t been in that level since I got injured.

“We’ve started our preseason, six weeks of preseason before New Year’s and Christmas. And then we start back up again early January.”

Having two knee reconstructions would be enough to give many people doubts about whether they could still play high level netball.

“I probably had one stage, when I did it the second time, just had some self doubt,” Misa said.

“I think just getting around the right people and having the support from my family and my other teammates was good for me, they kept pushing me.”

One of those ACL tears kept the defender out of the Youth World Cup in 2017, after she was asked to play that tournament.

Misa, who grew up in Brisbane to a father from Falelatai and a mother from Amaile, successfully trialled for the 2019 World Cup and had a stellar campaign for Samoa, who finished 13th.

She had 31 intercepts at the tournament, 10 more than anyone else.

Misa’s primary motivation at the World Cup was playing for her country:

“Getting the chance to represent my family, especially my grandpa.”

It also gave her the chance to test herself against the best, with Samoa coming up against eventual bronze medallists England in pool play.

“First time being on the world stage, so it was good to get the exposure,” Misa said.

“Playing against the players that you kinda look up to, on TV and stuff, that was an experience.”

After the tournament, she went back to club netball at the QUT Wildcats, and helped them win the Netball Queensland Sapphire Series last month.

From there she made the Fusion squad, just one step away from the professional Queensland Firebirds.

“If one of the franchise players gets injured, they usually pick from the Fusion,” Misa said.

Making that top-grade is a definite long-term goal for Misa, who currently works as a teacher.

“Hopefully by 2021 I have secured a full-time contract,” she said.

Away from the court, Misa prizes family time above all else:

“If I’m not training, if I’m not working, I usually spend my free time with them.

“Our family’s really close, my extended family. We’re pretty much around each other all the time.”

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