Championship Player Returns to the Flyers

August 15, 2023 | Southside Flyers news

Leilanie Mitchell, the inaugural Flyers MVP, and member of the Flyers 2020 Championship team, has confirmed she is returning to be part of the Flyers’ campaign for the upcoming WNBL season.

A 3xWNBL Champion and dual WNBL Grand Final MVP (including with the Flyers in 2020), Mitchell brings incredible experience from her time in the WNBL and the WNBA, where she has been a leading player for a number of seasons.

“I am excited to be back with the Flyers and to have the opportunity to be part of a very exciting team. I obviously have great memories of my time with the Flyers, not just winning the Championship but also the fun we have as a team. It is a great organisation that cares for the players and sets great standards on and off the court,” Leilani said.

Coach Cheryl Chamber is delighted that Leilani is back with the Flyers.

“It is great to have Lei back. We all know how good she is, and it is her ability to make other players better. Her IQ is amazing, she is a real professional and sets great standards in all her work on and off the court. She will be an incredible role model, particularly for our younger players,” Cheryl said.

Flyers supporters will be as thrilled to have Mitchell back as the ‘pocket rocket’ was a crowd favourite during her previous time with the team.

Mitchell has had a wonderful career that has included a successful college career in the USA and 13 seasons in the WNBA, as well as impressive stints in France and Croatia. In her final year at College, at the University of Utah, she was named the Conference Player of the Year and was then selected 25th overall in the 2008 WNBA Draft.

Adding to her list of achievements was being inducted into the University of Utah Hall of Fame, an honour she is very proud of.

Her WNBA career started with New York Liberty, she has also played for Phoenix Mercury and Washington Mystics. She has won the WNBA Most Improved Player on two occasions and is the only player in WNBA and NBA history to ever win the award in more than one season.

Born in the USA, Mitchell grew up in Washington State in the Pacific North West of the United States and her first season in Australia was in the 2013/14 WNBL season with the Dandenong Rangers..

A look at the major awards she has won confirms her status in women’s basketball and highlights why the Flyers are thrilled Leilani Mitchell will be back in action for the Southside Flyers in the 2023-24 season.

Major Awards:

  • WNBA: Most Improved Player of the Year 2010, 2019
  • WNBL: All-Star Five 2014 and 2020
  • WNBL: Golden Hands Award 2015
  • WNBL Grand Final MVP: 2017 & 2020
  • WNBL Champion: 2017, 2019 & 2020
  • FIBA World Championship: 2014 (Bronze)
  • LFB (France): Import Player of the Year: 2010
  • Mountain West Conference (College USA) Player of the Year: 2008
  • University of Utah Women’s Basketball Legend

Flyers Membership will be on sale on Monday August 21.