Sydney sign Opals captain Madgen on two-year deal

May 18, 2023 | Sydney Flames news

The Sydney Flames’ roster revamp has begun with the club announcing the signing of Australian Opals captain Tess Madgen. 

Madgen, who missed most of the WNBL23 season through injury, joins the Flames on a two-year deal – with the second year being a mutual option. 

The 32-year-old becomes the fourth player on the harbour city club’s roster, alongside Kiera Rowe, Tiana Mangakahia and Emma Clarke. 

“I’m super excited to sign on with the Flames for the next two seasons and be a part of that elite organisation,” said Madgen, who believes she will bring experience, basketball IQ, shooting and a team-first approach, on both ends of the floor, to the side. 


“Everything I’ve heard from the people around Hoops Capital, as well as in the media, is positive and that they’re going about growing the game of basketball the right way. 

“Not only that, but I also love the way they are trying to bridge the gap between men’s and women’s basketball – that equality aspect is important to me, and I respect the similar stance of the whole ownership group and their willingness to create change. 

“I’m excited to help close that gap even further during my time in Sydney – this was one of the main draw cards for me coming to the Flames, who I believe can become the number one women’s program in the country. 

“To be honest, a lot of stars aligned, and I couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else and hopefully we can bring another championship back to Sydney.”  

Tess will become the second Madgen to line up for the Hoops Capital organisation after older brother Ben became a fan favourite with the Kings from 2010-2015. 

“Ben obviously did great things during his time with the Kings and always tells me how amazing it is to play in Sydney, so I’m excited to experience that first-hand,” said Madgen, who believes the Flames can also help her prepare perfectly for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. 

“The Kings have always held a fond spot in my whole family’s heart because of what he was able to achieve there and hopefully I can follow in his footsteps and achieve success with the Flames.” 

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) – with her 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. 


Due to this amazing basketball resume, Flames president Victoria Denholm is over the moon to have Madgen join Sydney ahead of the WNBL24 season. 

“Tess Madgen is an absolute icon of Australian women’s basketball – having won in the WNBL and leading the Opals as their captain at the most recent women’s world cup in Sydney,” Denholm said. 

“She is an incredible player and leader and does all the intangible things that make her teammates better. 

“She is tough and having fought back from injury last season we’re excited that she can help elevate the Flames to the next level.” 

Madgen, who hopes to be a part of the Opals’ Asia Cup squad next month in Sydney, is aiming to arrive in the harbour city at the start of September prior to the tip-off of the WNBL24 campaign. 

Keep up to date with all the club’s off-season news here.