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2016/17 preseason Top 5 Aussie women in Europe
With some of Australia’s finest basketballers about to take part in the European basketball season, we take a look at the top 5 Aussie women in our preseason rankings.
5 | Steph TALBOT| AZS PWZS Gorzow (Poland)
Young gun Steph Talbot is fresh off her debut Olympic campaign and is ready to do big things at AZS PWZS Gorzow of Poland. The previous WNBL Rookie of the Year will make a big impact into this side with her ability to get around inside the paint and her athleticism.
Talbot’s rise up the ranks has been a quick one, with the 21-year-old playing a pivotal role for the Canberra Capitals in the WNBL for the past few seasons, and was rewarded by being selected at pick #33 in the 2014 WNBA draft to Phoenix Mercury. In the 2014/15 WNBL season, she averaged 13.3 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game.
Talbot is fast, athletic and strongly built, making her a dynamic offensive threat that is difficult to match up on. She’s managed to exceed at all opportunities given to her in her young career, with no doubt she will thrive at her new club in Poland.
The youngster helped Australia to a bronze medal at the 2013 U19 FIBA World Championships, where she also secured a spot in the All-Star Five. She will be one to look out for this year.
4 | Katie EBZERY | Dynamo Moscow (Russia)
Newcastle native Katie Ebzery will head to Dynamo Moscow in Russia for her first taste of the European league, playing in both the Russian and European Women’s Basketball Leagues.
Ebzery impressed at the Rio Olympics, proving to be the scoring threat that we’ve seen so many times before in the WNBL. Against Turkey, Ebzery came off the bench to score 11 points with 3 rebounds and 2 assists to bring the spark that the Opals needed to get over the line.
Ebzery’s fast pace and efficient scoring ability will be a huge asset to this team combined with her defensive pressure and hassling.
3 | Cayla GEORGE | Uniqa Sopron (Hungary)
Rio Olympian Cayla George is off to Uniqa Sopron in Hungary after a few championship seasons with the Townsville Fire in the WNBL for her third stint in Europe, where she will have the opportunity to compete against the best in the EuroLeague.
George is someone you want on your team - she always gives effort, she’s a sure thing from beyond the arc, and she has no problem taking it up to the world’s best bigs. Her rebounding in the WNBL has been phenomenal, averaging 11.2 rebounds across her 52 games for the Townsville Fire.
George is going to bring the boards to Uniqa Sopron and will provide plenty of sparks with some clutch three’s. No doubt the lovable tall will provide plenty of laughs to her teammates as well.
2 | Rachel JARRY | Lattes Montpellier (France)
Rachel Jarry signed with French side Lattes Montpellier to play in the French Basketball League as well as the highly regarded EuroLeague competition. As it is her first stint in Europe, she’s looking to get a taste of the fast rising, world-dominating style of basketball that’s coming from the Europeans.
Jarry is coming off a healthy Olympic campaign where she hit form towards the end of the tournament, making 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the Opals quarterfinal loss to Serbia. Jarry’s most recent regular season was with the South East Queensland Stars in the 2015/16 WNBL. She led the team deep into the finals series on an average of 14.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
With a healthy body, it’s the perfect time for the two-time Olympian to develop her game even further and get some more international experience.
Jarry’s hard-nosed defense will make her a valuable inclusion to this team, as well as her newly improved outside shot and hard cutting to the basket. Her hard ball gets will bring a bit of ‘grunt’ to her new French team.
1 | Rebecca ALLEN | Good Angels Košice (Slovakia)
Athletic Australian Rebecca Allen will join highly regarded Slovak side Good Angels Košice to play in the Slovakian league for her first European campaign.
Allen has just finished a successful season with the New York Liberty after they got knocked out in the playoffs by Penny Taylor's Phoenix Mercury. For Allen, her efforts were rewarded with a starting 5 position throughout the season and she capped it off with an average of 5.7 points and 1.7 rebounds per game.
Her freakish talent and long limbs makes ‘Spider’ a scoring machine. She’s well and truly capable of draining the three-ball and can also take it right up to the bigs inside the paint. Those long arms of hers make her a defensive nightmare for opposition teams by blocking shots and picking off passes.
Allen wants to do big things with her new Slovak side, who will also be competing in the EuroCup and the Eastern European Women’s Basketball League.
Previously, Allen told the Pick and Roll, “I’m really looking forward to being a key player in this team as I am building a lot of confidence playing for New York Liberty in the WNBA…. They [Good Angels Košice] share the ball well and play at a quick pace so that will fit perfectly with my style of play”.
The young Australian is going to slot right into this solid team and will no doubt make some formidable impact in the league.
Other Australians in Europe to keep an eye on include:
Alex Bunton | Dynamo Moscow (Russia)
Natalie Hurst | Hatay (Turkey)
Tess Madgen | Pszczolka AZS UMCS Lublin (Poland)
Nicole Seekamp | AZS PWZS Gorzow (Poland)