Top award shocks mum and dad

THE Australian Diamonds defender from Allora, Laura Geitz, was awarded the most prestigious honour in Australian netball at the weekend - the Liz Ellis Diamond.

Laura also won the Network Ten's 2011 ANZ Championship Player of the Year award.

Juanita Geitz, who accompanied her daughter to the night of nights in Melbourne on Saturday, is still shocked by Laura's win.

"It was very special for Laura to win the highest individual honour in Australian netball," Mrs Geitz said.

"Laura was even surprised to be one of the four nominations for the award.

"I have the envelope with Laura's name on it. I will treasure it forever," Mrs Geitz said.

Laura celebrated her 24th birthday two weeks ago.

Mrs Geitz recalls her daughter's debut for Australia a couple of days before her 21st birthday.

On Saturday night, Mrs Geitz rang her husband Ross after Laura won the ANZ Championship award.

"The Liz Ellis Diamond was presented later in the night and I rang Ross and woke him up," she said.

"He was surprised. It was one of her dreams but not expected.

"It was special for Laura to be presented with the award by Liz as they are both goalkeepers."

The highest individual honour in Australian netball is named after Liz Ellis, a former captain and most capped Australian player of all-time, who was on hand to present Geitz with a $5000 cheque and the superb one carat diamond from Michael Wilson Jewellers.

Geitz continues a defenders' dominance of the award, becoming the third to take home the coveted prize (Mo'onia Gerrard '08, Julie Corletto '09).

Laura's career highlights

2003 - First represented Queensland at 17 and under level.

2005 - Junior world championship bronze in Florida.

2008 - Debut for Australian Diamonds against England in Newcastle.

2010 - Commonwealth Games silver medal in Delhi.

2011 - On-court leader as Queensland Firebirds win ANZ Championship with unbeaten season.

2011 - World championship gold medal in Singapore.

2011 - ANZ Championship Player of the Year.

2011 - Liz Ellis Diamond winner.


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