Beck poised to return

October 23, 2018 | Townsville Fire news

New Zealand international Stella Beck is expected to make her JCU Townsville Fire debut on Saturday after recovering from injury.

Having sat out the opening two rounds of the season with a stress fracture in her right foot, the 23-year-old, who recently led the Tall Ferns to gold at the William Jones Cup in Taiwan, will be cleared to play against the Sydney Uni Flames on the provision she comes through training this week unscathed.

While Beck did not suffer discomfort during a modified training program last week, the Fire decided to be cautious with the versatile guard and left her in Townsville as they split the Doomsday Double 1-1.

“I probably could have played (last week) but it’s early in the season and if something did happen last weekend it could put me out for another four weeks potentially,” Beck said.

“It’s not worth taking the risk. I was happy with the decision to not play this weekend.”

During a decorated college career, Beck averaged 15.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals playing for St Mary’s in her senior year to be named to the All-West Coast Conference team.

St Mary’s has a long and distinguished history of producing players for the Chemist Warehouse WNBL including two-time Fire championship winner Kate Gaze, along with Bendigo’s Louella Tomlinson and Adelaide’s Lauren Nicholson.

NBA stars Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova are also St Mary’s graduates.

With the Fire conceding 98 points against Perth on Sunday, head coach Claudia Brassard said she would make a welcome addition.

“She’s long and athletic and she does a lot of things on a basketball court that don’t necessarily show up on a stat sheet,” Brassard said.

“Her length allows her to be able to get a hand up in their faces and to get into passing lanes and she’s always active at both ends of the floor.

“Hopefully she’s able to come through the week pain-free and we can roll out our full line-up for the first time this season.”

The Fire host the Flames at Townsville Stadium from 2pm on Saturday.

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