SOUTH East Queensland’s new women’s national basketball team has further expanded its roster by signing guard Amy Lewis for the 2015/16 Wattle Valley WNBL season. Lewis joins SEQ Basketball from the Adelaide Lightning after previously playing for the Townsville Fire. This signing comes following the confirmation that three WNBA stars, Bec Allen, Rachel Jarry and Erin Phillips will join the team as the new club looks to seriously challenge for the title in its inaugural season. Coach Shane Heal said, “Amy is the perfect player to compliment the three Opals players we have signed. Her tenacity, desire and skill set on defence will help set a standard and make us a tougher team. “Amy has shown she can score but more importantly has the smarts and experience that will help lead our young team. Amy will play a very valuable role for us.” Amy Lewis said, “I am really excited to have the opportunity to be part of this new franchise. I am looking forward to the change of scenery and the opportunities and challenges it will bring. I look forward to working with Shane, and developing my game in Brisbane with my new team mates.” SEQ Basketball Chairman Jarrod Sierocki said the first four players signed signaled the club’s intentions to set a high standard for others to aspire to and become role models for young women and athletes in the community. A public social media competition will be soon be held to provide the name of the team and give the fans an opportunity for input. SEQ Basketball also has plans to develop a community engagement program to grow the sport in SEQ. The program would include a SEQ Basketball Academy, camps and clinics and a school partnership program.
SOUTH East Queensland’s new women’s national basketball team has secured another major coup with the addition of a third WNBA player to its lineup. WNBA player Rebecca Allen has signed on to play with SEQ Basketball’s yet to be named Logan-based team in the 2015/2016 Wattle Valley WNBL. She joins fellow WNBA recruits Rachel Jarry and Erin Phillips. Rebecca Allen, 22, is one of basketball’s rising stars, signing with New York Liberty for the WNBA‘s 2015 season in February this year. She is a forward with the Australian women’s basketball squad, the Opals, and has played with the Melbourne Boomers and the Dandenong Rangers in the WNBL. Last year, she was awarded the WNBL Robyn Maher Defensive Player of the Year award. “It is an exciting time for Queensland to be able to attract three amazing Australian women who play in the WNBA at the highest level and for our Australian Opals team,” said SEQ Basketball chairman Jarrod Sierocki. “With the signings of Rebecca Allen, Rachel Jarry and Erin Phillips, we are intent on showing that we are a serious contender in the league and are going to challenge the top teams for that Championship. “These three women will be great role models for South East Queensland girls and they demonstrate their abilities off and on the court in their professionalism.” Coach Shane Heal said it was an incredible start for the club. “Rebecca has an athleticism and quickness to her game in both offence and defence that will create havoc for other teams,” he said. “Rebecca is the perfect player to complement both Erin and Rachel. I can’t wait to work with her and I know that our style of game will maximise her skill set. “These three Australian Opals create a nucleus of our team that will be sure to excite all of our fans and sponsors alike and they give us the chance to seriously compete with the best teams in our very first year.” Rebecca Allen said she was looking forward to playing for the team. “It’s not often that you get a chance to be a part of an exciting new franchise and I know after speaking to Shane Heal that this is a great opportunity for me,” she said. “What really impressed me was that the SEQ Basketball group was intent on building a team right from the start that would compete successfully for the WNBL title. That’s something that I want to be a part of. “I can’t wait to meet the fans in Queensland. I know that Shane is keen to deliver a brand of basketball that everyone in SEQ will be proud of and will want to support.” Media enquiries to Brenton Gibbs
WNBA player Rachel Jarry is the latest star recruit to join the new South East Queensland women’s basketball team in the WNBL. Jarry is one of Australia’s most successful women’s basketball exports, currently playing for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. In 2013 the team went on to win the WNBA Championship, making Jarry only the eighth Australian to achieve such an honour. She was also a member of the Australian Opals squad in the 2012 Olympic Games and has played with the Melbourne Boomers in the WNBL. Jarry has signed on to the new Logan-based club alongside dual WNBA championship winner and Olympic silver medalist Erin Phillips. SEQ Basketball announced earlier this month that it had secured a licence for the yet to be named SEQ team to compete in the 2015-2016 Wattle Valley WNBL. Four-time Olympian Shane Heal will coach the team. Shane Heal said Rachel Jarry was an outstanding addition to the team. “To have another motivated and hard working Australian representative that also plays in the powerful American league is a real coup for our program and for basketball in South East Queensland,” he said. “It’s also a statement of our intention to challenge the top teams in our first year. Rachel’s best basketball is in front of her and I know we can help her game to another level. To have her teaming up with Erin Phillips makes me really eager to get on court and start building the team.” Rachel Jarry said she was excited for the opportunity to join the SEQ team. “I’m looking forward to working with Shane Heal and also Erin Phillips who I have been lucky enough to have as a team mate with the Opals,” she said. “I think the WNBL always needs a team in this part of the country and I think it’s great that we will have a presence here once again. I can’t wait to be a part of this team and to help build the profile of women’s basketball in South East Queensland.” SEQ Basketball Chairman Jarrod Sierocki said the signing of Rachel Jarry marked an “explosion of Australian talent” being attracted to South East Queensland who are currently playing in the WNBA. “South East Queensland is a wonderful place in which to live, play and show support for our sporting clubs. We have so much talent amongst our Australian players and now we have the opportunity to attract the best Australian players to our home state which is something we should be very proud of,” Mr Sierocki said. “I am proud to officially welcome Rachel to SEQ Basketball and Queensland. She is an outstanding athlete that we believe can be adopted as a Queenslander and proudly represent SEQ Basketball and Queensland in women’s sport. “We are very excited to have Rachel as a foundation player for SEQ Basketball which will debut next season.” A public social media competition will soon be launched to provide the name of SEQ Basketball’s WNBL team and give the fans input into the team. ENDS Media enquiries to Brenton Gibbs on 0419 828 440