Eight teams with star-studded line ups will soon take to the court for the 2020 Chemist Warehouse WNBL season in a North Queensland hub.
As we edge closer to tip off, and the excitement and anticipation continues to build, we take a look at the high calibre of talent spread across the league.
Making the move from Perth to Adelaide, the Lightning struck a signature from Marena Whittle. Standing at 180cm, Whittle made a great impression last season, finishing with a season average of 10.3 points per game (PPG) and 4.8 rebounds per game (RPG). Whittle has a vast knowledge of the league, with her WNBL career debut with the Townsville Fire in 2017/18. Whittle has since gone on and played with the Villawood Bendigo Spirt, Perth Lynx, and now, the Adelaide Lightning. Whittle’s position flexibility also sets her up as a versatile force, slotting comfortably into the Shooting Guard, Guard or Forward positions.
Brydens Sydney Uni Flames
Named as last season’s Sixth Woman of the Year, the Flames scored well with Alison Schwagmeyer. With an abundance of experience, Schwagmeyer has played stints over in Europe, the WA State League and shown her talents in the WNBL since 2017. The 5’11” Guard averaged an impressive 15.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 1.9 assists per game (APG) last season with the Perth Lynx. Schwagmeyer, who had played solely with Perth since commencing her WNBL career, is one to watch this season!
Deakin Melbourne Boomers
Back with the Boomers for another season is New Zealand native Stella Beck. Coming to Melbourne for the 2019/20 season after a short stint with the Townsville Fire, Beck is also a member of the New Zealand national women’s team, the Tall Ferns. Beck shone for the Boomers in her WNBL20 campaign, particularly in the latter half of the season when starting point guard Lindsay Allen was sidelined through injury. Overall, the Guard averaged 5.8 PPG and 2.4 RPG and impressed with her basketball IQ, determination and grit.
Jayco Southside Flyers
With a 49.3% shooting efficiency last season, Bec Cole is another key athlete to keep an eye out for in the upcoming season. The dual International squad member for the Chemist Warehouse Opals and the Australian 3×3 women’s team averaged 17.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 4 APG last season. Cole, also named in the 2019-20 WNBL All-Star Second team, is a Shooting Guard with a deadly jump shot.
JCU Townsville Fire
Returning to the JCU Townsville Fire is three-time WNBL Championship winner, Mia Murray. Following a two-year break from play, the experienced on-court leader and former Rachael Sporn Grand Final MVP Medallist will take to the court in North Queensland once again. Murray (nee Newley) also represented Australia at the 2009 and 2011 World Uni Games, bringing home a bronze medal on both occasions.
Returning home to the West, Darcee Garbin will suit up in the Lynx red for the 2020 competition. The Opals squad member is coming off a stellar season with the Fire where she averaged 14.4 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 1.7 APG. During her career in Townsville, Garbin became a two-time WNBL Champion in 2015-16 and 2017-18. The 188cm Power Forward was also a part of last year’s FIBA Asia Cup Opals playing group which claimed bronze, averaging 8.8 PPG, 4 RPG and 1.5 APG throughout the International event.
University of Canberra Capitals
Chemist Warehouse Australian Opal squad member, Maddison Rocci, is coming off a strong Queensland Basketball League (QSL) season where she averaged 32.5 PPG. Rocci had a successful 2019-20 WNBL campaign with the UC Capitals as they claimed back to back Championships, and across the season Rocci averaged 9 PPG, 2.3 RPG and 2.3 APG. Now entering her fourth season with the reigning champions, the team have their sights set on a threepeat.
Villawood Properties Bendigo Spirit
Returning to the Spirit after a great WNBL20 campaign is Power Forward, Carley Ernst. After taking home the club’s MVP award for last season, Ernst will be one to watch for in the upcoming competition. With a remarkable 2019-20 season stat sheet across the board, Ernst averaged 12 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 2.1 (APG). A league veteran, the 26-year old has now played 10 seasons in the WNBL, beginning her career in 2009 with the AIS, she also competed in Romania prior to the 2019-20 WNBL season.
Don’t miss any of the action this year as the 2020 Chemist Warehouse WNBL tips off.