June 9, 2023 | WNBL news

Welcome to The Week That Was where every Friday we wrap up the latest Australian hoops news from here and around the globe.

WNBL Free Agency

A big return and a big move headlined a week where the key dates for #WNBL24 were announced.

Alice Kunek has signed with reigning champion Townsville Fire, returning home from Europe to play in the league for the first time since 2019-20.

The MVP is on the move with 2022-23 Suzy Batkovic Medallist Cayla George joining Melbourne Boomers and Australian Opals teammate Tess Madgen at the Sydney Flames.

The Flames are turning up the heat with the fresh signatures of George, Madgen and Lauren Nicholson adding to a contracted core including Kiera Rowe and Emma Clarke.

Elsewhere, Miela Goodchild is heading west for increased opportunities with the Perth Lynx who also announced the signing of rookie Stephanie Gorman. Taylah Simmons, who represented Southside Flyers in 2021-22, will reunite with former teammates Sara Blicavs and Kristy Wallace at the Boomers.

Abby Bishop (Spain), Marena Whittle (Spain) and Lauren Scherf (France) all confirming this week they’ll head to Europe next season.

The WNBL season will tip off on November 1. See all the Free Agency signings here.

Rose Gold Vibes Only

WNBL quartet Anneli Maley, Marena Whittle, Ally Wilson and Lauren Mansfield led the Gangurrus to a bronze medal at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup in Vienna.

In a dramatic decider, Whittle put the Gangurrus ahead on the buzzer to defeat China, 21-20.

Whittle also earned recognition in the team of the tournament.

Tough For T

Sydney Flames star and 2021 FIBA Asia Cup bronze medallist Tiana Mangakahia announced her retirement from basketball on Monday revealing that the breast cancer she fought three years ago had returned with scans revealing stage four cancer.


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A post shared by Tiana Mangakahia (@tiana_mangakahia)

The basketball family both here and abroad, Mangakahia played college basketball at Syracuse, spent the 2021 WNBA training camp with the Phoenix Mercury and has played in Russia and more recently France, are rallying around the much-loved 28-year-old.

Opals greats Lauren Jackson, Penny Taylor, Michele Timms and Marianna Tolo are amongst a raft of stars donating items to an auction which will raise funds for Mangakahia. Stay tuned on Basketball Australia socials for details in coming weeks.


In front of her dad visiting from Melbourne, Bec Allen lit up for 6 triples among her 22 points as Connecticut Sun fell 6 points short of Cayla George’s Las Vegas Aces.

Alanna Smith sent Chicago to overtime, and a victory, against an Indiana Fever line-up with Kristy Wallace scoring a season-best 16 points.

Smith equaled the career best numbers (18 points) she posted earlier in the week.

Jade Melbourne enjoyed her first WNBA career win when Seattle Storm edged out the Los Angeles Sparks by 3 points.

Ezi Magbegor produced a 13-point/10-rebound double-double in the victory.