July 21, 2023 | WNBL news

From a mammoth re-signing to the courts of NBL1, WNBA and FIBA tournaments in Jordan and Spain, it’s been a bumper seven days.

This is The Week That Was.


Townsville Fire saved the best ‘til last when unveiling their final roster spot for #WNB24.

In a major coup, championship player and Rachael Sporn Medallist Tianna Hawkins will return to the Fire for the upcoming season.

Her signature caps a successful off-season period where the club landed Opals duo Sami Whitcomb and Alice Kunek.

Hawkins said she was thrilled to be Townsville bound once again.

“Shannon has done a phenomenal job in building a professional and winning culture in Townsville and that is something I really loved being a part of last season,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to getting back with my teammates in hopes of competing every day to bring another championship to Townsville.”


Following her inspirational form in last season’s Grand Final series, Bec Cole will be back in teal for the Southside Flyers in #WNBL24.

The experienced guard has been part of all four of the Flyers campaigns, since they landed in the league in 2019-20, including three Grand Final appearances and a championship in the 2020 hub season.

Bendigo Spirit have unveiled an import for the first time since 2019-20.

American guard Mehryn Kraker, who is averaging 19.5 points, 6.4 assists, 3.9 rebounds in her second NBL1 West campaign with Rockingham Flames, will make her WNBL debut with the Spirit.

Hard-nosed defender Alicia Froling, who averaged 11 boards a game last season, will remain in Bendigo colours, re-signing with the Spirit.

Her rivalry with twin Keely will enjoy another layer now both sisters are playing in Victoria.

Brooke Basham has re-signed with Adelaide Lightning and will enter her third fourth WNBL campaign with added form and confidence after taking out the scoring title (23.35 PPG) in NBL1 Central.


NBL1 North crowned its season award winners this week with 2022-23 WNBL champion Courtney Woods named MVP for a season where she averaged 25.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game for the Northside Wizards.

Woods and WNBL team mates Steph Reid and Mikaela Ruef all earned selection in the Women’s First Team.


Ezi Magbegor made her WNBA All-Star debut last weekend and was part of a big victory.

Representing former Seattle team mate Brianna Stewart’s Team Stewart, Magbegor had two points, two assists and four rebounds in 12 minutes court time.

Team Stewart defeated A’ja Wilson’s Team Wilson, 143-127.

Also, in the WNBA this week, Kristy Wallace got her first season start for Indiana Fever and Bec Allen teamed 13 points with 6 blocks in Connecticut’s 82-71 victory over Atlanta Dream which is assistant coached by two-time WNBL championship coach Paul Goriss.


It was gold for Australia as the Sapphires edged out Japan, 80-74, in Jordan to win a third straight FIBA Under-16 Asia Championship.

Meanwhile, it’s been a tough campaign for the Gems at the FIBA Women’s Under-19 World Cup in Spain.

With the team now out of medal contention, Australia play Brazil on Friday night (11pm, AEST) for classification.

The Gems team is stacked with WNBL young guns, from last season and next, including Isobel Borlase and Tayla Brazel (Adelaide Lightning), Nyadiew Pouch (Southside Flyers), Paige and Sophie Burrows (Melbourne Boomers), Jayda Clark (UC Capitals), Saffron Shiels (Townsville Fire) and Ruby Vlahov (Perth Lynx).