Zitina Aokuso the centre of Townsville’s 5-1 start

December 6, 2023 | WNBL news

Written by Darren Barker, Features Writer

Playing in her sixth season for Townsville, Zitina Aokuso continues to evolve her game (one aspect specifically) and she’s had a heap to do with the Fire’s 5-1 start to the season.


The amount of talent on Townsville’s roster is clear, whether it’s Alice Kunek returning to the league, Sami Whitcomb switching to the Fire colours, Steph Reid, Mikaela Ruef, the list goes on. But at the literal Centre of their lineup (that was good, right?) is Zitina Aokuso, who has played a big part in their 5-1 start this season which has Townsville sitting on top of the ladder.

Career best in points per game? Tick.

Zitina is sitting at 15.3 PPG right now which is more than double her points average last season (7 PPG) but that is only half the story.

It’s the Fire’s record at 5-1, it’s Aokuso’s 28 minutes per game, it’s her starting gig, it’s how she’s scoring the 15 a game.

Right hand finishes, left hand finishes – being patient and strong down low. That much was clear as she scored 23 last game against Adelaide on 10-15 shooting.

“She’s becoming a problem.”

“She’s changed the complexion of the game.”

Two of the phrases the commentary team used as the Lightning had no answer for Aokuso’s finishing ability in the post.

Let’s talk about the 3 point shooting

That’s right, I’ve been keen to bring this up because prior to this season, Aokuso attempted a total of 4 three’s in 5 seasons and she’s already taken 8 this season and made 3 of them.

Again, it’s how she’s evolving and having a career best year.

And her form looks good! See below for evidence.

I watched these each a few times because the shot genuinely looks very smooth.

Anyway I love that aspect of evolution to Aokuso’s game and if I’m any of her coaching staff, I’m telling her to let that thing fly because the shot looks pretty.

The beauty of any players development

The development of any player in basketball is fun. It’s intriguing, you don’t know what these players can become and that’s the beauty of it all.

Some take no time at all to find their feet, some are years in before we begin seeing what they are capable of. Again, it’s part of the beauty of the sport.

It’s been an up and down journey for Zitina who, in now her 6th year with Townsville, has been through championships, an ACL injury, winning Sixth Woman Of The Year and more moments along the way.

But through all of these chapters she is still just 25 years old and is having a stellar season so far. I’m keen to see what the rest of it holds, including those 3’s yeah?

Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images


Written by Darren Barker



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