The Week That Was – 8
The Week That Was saw more import talent sign on the dotted line to play in the upcoming WNBL season plus key pieces of a teal puzzle come together.
BREEZY DOES IT
The first time she played Down Under she came second in the Suzy Batkovic Medal for 2019-20 league MVP.
And now Brianna “Breezy” Turner is back with Adelaide proving Lightning does strike twice.
The 191cm forward, who was named to WNBA’s All-Defensive team in 2020 and 2021, is currently in her fourth season with the Phoenix Mercury.
“I’m so excited to be joining the WNBL again and playing for the Lightning. I remember a few years ago you guys had the best fans in the league and I can’t wait to see you again in a few months,” Turner said this week.
Turner and reigning Sydney Flames MVP Jocelyn Willoughby fill Adelaide’s import sports for #WNBL24.
She’s played with Aussies Jenna O’Hea and Ezi Magbegor and now she’s Australia bound.
Former Sparks, Fever and Storm centre Jantel Lavender, who measures in at 193cm, will wear purple next season when she suits up for the Melbourne Boomers.
The 34-year-old has played extensively through Europe winning titles in Poland, Italy and Turkey.
The Boomers also announced their final roster spot this week with 25-year-old New Zealand guard Tera Reed to make her WNBL debut.
Reed and long-time Boomer Penina Davidson helped New Zealand to their highest ever FIBA Asia Cup finish (4th) in Sydney earlier this month. The pair are currently playing for Northern Kahu in the New Zealand league before landing at the Boom Box.
BACK IN TEAL
The teal puzzle continues to come together at the Southside Flyers with point guards Maddy Rocci and Dallas Loughridge and excitement machine Nyadiew Pouch all re-committing for #WNBL24.
Rocci, fresh off the Opals bronze-medal campaign at the Asia Cup, is currently deep in an NBL1 North finals campaign with the South West Metro Pirates while Loughridge is on the comeback trail from an ACL injury she sustained in the Flyers final pre-season game last year.
Pouch, who played for Dandenong in NBL1 South this season, is fresh from representing the Gems at this month’s FIBA Under-19 World Cup.
Casey Samuels will return to the league next season, joining Bendigo Spirit for what will be her eighth WNBL campaign.
After making her debut for the AIS in 2010, the 28-year-old guard represented the UC Capitals (twice), Sydney Flames and Townsville Fire. She last played for the Caps in 2021-22 where current Spirit coach Kennedy Kereama was assistant coach.
Samuels is currently in action for Rockingham Flames in NBL1 West with soon-to-be Bendigo team mate Mehryn Kraker.
AROUND THE WNBA
UC Capitals superstar Jade Melbourne is in the middle of her debut WNBA season with Seattle.
The Storm featured her on their website this week, read here.
Kristy Wallace brought some boom off the bench for Indiana Fever in their 81-68 loss to the Sparks on Friday with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists.