Madgen to bring up 250-game milestone against Capitals

December 7, 2023 | Sydney Flames news

Tess Madgen will add to her extraordinary basketball resume on Friday when she runs out onto the court for the 250th time in the WNBL.

This milestone, which will earn the Australian Opals captain life membership in the WNBL, means the world to the 33-year-old.

“Growing up, all I wanted to do was be a basketballer and play in the WNBL and for the Opals, so to be able to play 250 games in one of the best leagues in the world is a dream come true,” said Madgen, who has amassed 3201 points, 1254 rebounds, 844 assists, 217 steals and 57 blocks in her career to date.

“I have the best job in the world.”


Born in the Barossa Valley, Madgen spent her childhood in South Australia before joining the Australian Institute of Sport in 2008 for three years.

This was followed by WNBL stints with Bendigo (2010-2012) and Melbourne (2012-2016) before taking her talents overseas, with the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA (2015) and AZS UMCS Lublin in Poland (2016-17).

She then returned to Australia to play for Townsville (2018-2020) and Melbourne (2020-2023), playing a key role in the latter’s WNBL22 championship.

During all this, Madgen has been named in the All-WNBL teams twice (first in 2015 and second in 2020) and represented her country at two FIBA World Cups – in Spain in 2018 (silver medal) and in Australia in 2022 (bronze medal) – and the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Most recently, she captained the Opals to a bronze medal at the 2023 Asia Cup in Sydney.

“I started my WNBL career at the AIS when I was 16, so I have been playing in the WNBL for half of my life, which is crazy,” said Flame #220.

“My career has been through ups and downs, like any athlete but it’s what makes it so fulfilling.

“Basketball keeps me striving to be the best player, best person and best leader I can be – it’s why I’m still so in love with the game.

“I will always be grateful for the low points because they’re what make the highs so special.

“My fondest memory in the WNBL is definitely winning the championship in 2021/22 and all the friendships I have made over my career.”

Watch Tess Madgen’s match highlights against Adelaide via Sydney Kings’ YouTube channel above. While you’re there, be sure to hit subscribe, to ensure you never miss out on any of our great videos.

Madgen went on to say that this milestone was just as much about her commitment and dedication as well as those in her inner circle.

“Obviously my parents made a huge sacrifice for me and my siblings growing up,” said Madgen, whose brothers Ben (played in the NBL for the Kings and Phoenix) and Jack (played AFL with Collingwood) have also played sport professionally.

“They had no free time and were always in the car or at basketball stadiums and I will forever be grateful for that.

“In more recent times, Guy Molloy has had a massive impact on my WNBL career and I definitely wouldn’t be here without him.

“My partner Taylor has also helped me grow so much as a player and leader with his countless hours rebounding for me in the off-season and always making sure I’m ready to go to reach my potential.”


Madgen, who will chalk up the milestone on Friday at the National Convention Centre against the Canberra Capitals, head into the round six fixture on the back of a gritty two-point win against Adelaide on Wednesday.

“It [Wednesday’s game] was a low-scoring, gritty win and I am so proud,” she said.

“Adelaide are tough and it’s those types of wins that are so important in building momentum and belief within the group.

“We need to keep getting better each game and keep building our chemistry and we will be great!

“[Looking to Friday] we need to contain Jade Melbourne, she had a big game against us last time.

“We need to stay disciplined on the defensive end of the floor, own the rebounds and keep our spacing on offence.

“We also really need a consistent four-quarter effort.”

Friday’s fixture tips off at 7pm AEDT and will be broadcast on 9Now.