Rising star Shyla Heal joins the Flames
In what is one of the most exciting signings of the WNBL off-season, the Brydens Sydney Uni Flames are thrilled to announce that rising star and WNBA Draft Pick Shyla Heal has signed a multi-year deal with the Club starting in the upcoming WNBL 2021-22 season.
Selected as the eighth pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft by the Chicago Sky, the Sydney local joined the illustrious list of just three others – Lauren Jackson, Liz Cambage and Alanna Smith – as Australian female basketball players to be drafted in the WNBA Top 10.
The talented point-guard joins the Flames off the back of a breakout season in WNBL20 where she finished Top 5 for scoring, was awarded Youth Player of the Year, and was named in the All-WNBL Second Team. Leading Townsville to a Grand Final appearance, she averaged 17 points, 3 assists and 5 rebounds per game.
Looking ahead to WNBL21 Shyla will also re-unite with her father, new Flames Head Coach and Australian basketball icon, Shane Heal. Having spent a season with him as a development player for the SEQ Stars at just age 14, this will be her first time playing under him as a contracted player.
“I’m really excited to sign in Sydney and play for my dad. He has coached me since I started playing and always gets the best out me” Heal shared.
“It’s an exciting time to be playing in Sydney with the FIBA Women’s World Cup being played here next year, and I can’t wait to be part of this new look Flames team” she said.
With a wealth of international experience already under her belt, Shyla will be looking to continue her development as an elite point guard within the WNBL, and on the global stage.
As a junior she was named MVP in the Championship game at the 2017 FIBA U17 Oceania Championship in Guam, and in 2018 was a representative at the U17 World Championships where she made the Tournament All Star Five and helped lead the team to a bronze medal. In 2019 she led Australia to a silver medal at the U19 World Cup.
Most recently she was named in the Opals squad vying for a spot to represent the green and gold at the Tokyo Olympics, and will be looking to take the next step in her career when she joins the Chicago Sky in the WNBA in the coming weeks.
Heading into her fifth WNBL season at just 19 years of age, Head Coach Shane Heal was looking forward adding Shyla into the exciting new roster he is bringing together.
“I’m extremely happy to have Shyla joining the Flames”.
“Her work ethic and mindset will only enhance the culture we are trying to create in our first year. She has shown she can be one of the best point-guards in the country and having her as a key part of our team will help bring out the best in our players, and give us a chance to seriously compete immediately” Heal shared.
Shyla joins Lauren Mansfield and Funda Nakkasoglu as contracted Flames players for the upcoming WNBL21 season.
More player announcements will be made in the coming weeks.