Jaz Shelley WNBL Geelong United Basketball
5 June 2024 | Geelong United news

Geelong United Basketball (GUB) is pleased to announce the first official player signing for our inaugural WNBL season, Jaz Shelley.

The 5 foot 9 point guard joins Geelong after recently being drafted by the Phoenix Mercury in the 2024 WNBA draft with the 29th overall pick.

Shelley is no stranger to Geelong, previously playing for our NBL1 Women’s side during the 2019 season, where she averaged 10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game – “It’s kind of a full circle feeling to be back at Geelong,” she said. “I played here about 5 years ago just before I went to college, and now one of my first years back in Australia being able to play for Geelong in a WNBL season is pretty incredible.”

With a full college career now behind her, the WNBA draftee has levelled up significantly since we last saw her take to the court in Geelong – “I think my game has changed a lot. My basketball IQ, ability to read the game and assist my teammates has improved. On the defensive end, I’m much better in that area… I also think consistently shooting the three and at a deep range is something Geelong will see from me now that they didn’t 5 years ago.”

New head coach, Chris Lucas is extremely excited to have Shelley on board for the team’s maiden WNBL season – “I’m extremely pleased to have Jaz as our first signing. It’s exciting to welcome her to Geelong United in its inaugural WNBL season.  She has had an outstanding college career, and is a player I know will fit the culture & values we are establishing as we put a team together for the future. I look forward to working with Jaz as she transitions to play in the WNBL as a professional athlete.”

When asked about her decision to sign on, Shelley said that everything kept coming back to Geelong – “It was honestly a difficult decision to decide where I wanted to play WNBL. Being away for so long, it was hard to decipher which club would be right. Everything kept coming back to Geelong – knowing the people, knowing the organisation, knowing the area was something that really excited me. But also being so close to my family, that was a huge part for me… They haven’t got to see me play that much, so it’s exciting for me to know they’ll be there at most games.”

Looking ahead to the upcoming season, aside from every players’ hopes of making finals and possibly winning a championship, Shelley is hoping to help set the tone for the future here in Geelong – “I try to make everyone around me better,” Shelley said. “I’m a pretty optimistic believer – I want to win, I’m competitive, so that’s something I want to instil when I get to Geelong and be that person who says why not?

Please join us in welcoming our first signed WNBL player for our inaugural season, Jaz Shelley.