The Logan Thunder have named 18 athletes as part of their WNBL Player Pathways Academy squad
Eighteen of the state’s most promising female basketball players are one step closer to realising their dream of playing at the professional level after the BDS Logan Thunder announced their WNBL Player Pathways Academy squad.
In a land-mark opportunity, the rising stars have been selected to participate in the club’s inaugural academy, designed to provide a stepping-stone to the country’s top league.
Selection was based on both basketball and non-basketball specific criteria, and while all players showed they have ample ability, Academy Director Tony Stephens said those selected possess characteristics that can’t be taught.
“The first six items of the criteria were not basketball specific,” he said.
“They’re about attitude, desire, teamwork and commitment. It’s really hard to teach these things at the WNBL level and these attributes are essential if they are going to compete at the professional level.”
Stephens said the academy will open the door of opportunity for those looking to take their game to the next level.
“It’s a very unique opportunity,” he said.
“They will receive individualised training programs and high caliber coaching and they will be exposed to playing at the top level through exhibition games and training camps. They will also experience the off-court aspects of being a professional athlete.”
He added: “The basketball side of things is only one part of it. Obviously you have to be able to play but it’s all the other little things that come with it that they have to realize they need to be good at to reach the next level.
“Even those who weren’t selected will receive ongoing support and will be advised of areas they can improve on for their own personal development.”
BDS Logan Thunder General Manager Phil Binder said the announcement is a positive step forward for the club and women’s basketball in the state.
“We’re very excited to bring the girls on board under the Logan Thunder banner,” Binder said.
“It’s very rewarding for the club to be in a position where we able to provide an invaluable pathway into professional basketball for young female’s in Queensland and I think it is a positive sign that the club is moving forward and continuously growing.
“From a club perspective the benefit for us is that it gives us opportunity to select from some of the best emerging young talent coming through the ranks.
“The interest that has come out of this has been unbelievable, which to me is an indication of just how much this sort of program has been needed,” he said.
Nine academy players will be selected to join Logan Thunder’s Kristian Veal and Mikhaela Donnelly for an exhibition game against Alabama’s Auburn University on August 7 at Brisbane Basketball’s NAB Stadium.
BDS Logan Thunder WNBL Player Pathways Academy
Sarah Ambrose (Runaway Bay)
Izzy Chilcott (Gold Coast)*
Sarah Davis (Brisbane)*
Jess Gajewski (Runaway Bay)
Phoebe Hinds (Northside)
Alice Honnery (Bundaberg)*
Chloe Morrow (Rockhampton)
Hayley Munro (Bundaberg)*
Morgan Pink (Southern Districts)*
Rachel Pryor (Southern Districts)*
Carine Reimink (Gold Coast)*
Brooke Steindl (Brisbane)
Ash Taia (Southern Districts)*
Megan Trinder (Gold Coast)
Maddy Willey (South West Metro)*
Molly Windsor (Brisbane)
Ash Wallis (South West Metro)
Yasmin Miller (Maroochydore)
*Likely to play in the exhibition match. Please note parentheses indicates senior association.
For further information:
BDS Logan Thunder Media and Communication Manager, Leanne McCormack Ph: 0413 540 849.
BDS Logan Thunder General Manager, Phil Binder Ph: 0419 745 849.
BDS Logan Thunder WNBL Player Pathways Academy Director, Tony Stephens Ph:0408 008 740.
The BDS Logan Thunder WNBL Pathways Academy is a key program to provide development opportunities for players throughout the region.
The Academy will provide tailored development programs and mentoring support to players with a view to supporting their growth both on and off the court, as well as exposing them to elite level competition and coaching to assist in achieving their goals in the sport.
The Academy program will be tailored to the individual needs of the selected players and is designed to provide them the best possible opportunity to participate in the WNBL.
Academy members will also be given the opportunity to participate in a number of programs, competitions and exhibition games as part of their engagement.
Participants will also have the opportunity to work with a range of WNBL and National level coaches to further their skills as part of the program.
Participation in the Academy is by invitation only with the Thunder working with a range of coaches and administrators throughout the region to identify potential members. It is envisaged that Academy Participants will have completed all school and junior representative commitments before they are eligible to participate in the program.
Potential Academy players were contacted to attend one of two Academy camps conducted at Logan Metro, Crestmead on Sunday 15 July or Sunday 22 July.
The Academy will also work with Associations to support the development of opportunities for coaches and administrators.