New Printsync South West Slammers women’s recruit Tea Charlton believes a cultured childhood has enhanced her ability to connect on and off the court as a basketball player.

The daughter of Croatian and Kiwi parents, Charlton learnt the importance of cultural appreciation and completing every task with an open mind.

Speaking to the Bunbury Herald from Cyprus, the 23-year-old spoke openly about her desire to extend her family-orientated nation with everyone across Slammernation.

“My agent and I were on the search to find a team and we came across the Slammers,” she said. “I was really keen to play in a more competitive league like the SBL.

“I was able to get in touch with coach Nathan Grover a few weeks ago and he seems like a really lovely guy.”

Grover feels the imposing dual-national will fit right in at the Eaton Recreation Centre.

“She gives us the depth we need right now,” he said. “Tea is another starter for us so it extends our squad in having the depth to come off the bench, which is something we did not have last season.

“Being 188cm, she has height as well, which will go well alongside Brittni (Montgomery) and Vanessa (Michael) on the floor as well.”

Growing up, Charlton was never keen to sit still — a trait she still carries with her to this today.

“I am very thankful that I had a good childhood in a number of ways,” she said. “I learnt all about appreciating different cultures and respecting people’s beliefs.

“I started playing basketball in Cyprus from the age of 12, but before that I tried tennis along with track and field athletics.”

Initially shy about her height, the centre/forward eventually learnt to embrace it after falling in love with basketball, a sport which has already taken her to several interesting places, including the UK and regional Queensland.

Having played Down Under already, Charlton is keen to show the other side of the country what she can offer.

“I really like to get under the basket,” she said. “But having said that, I can shoot outside also. To play this role, you have to play a strong game, so I go to the gym regularly and keep developing my core body strength.”

Aware of the youth nature within the women’s team, Charlton is keen to be a positive role model to up and coming players.

“It is really important to have that platform and always tell the girls not to give up,” she said.

Off the court, Charlton has completed her decorative arts degree and is extremely passionate about graphic design, while she also enjoys cooking.