Big plans for Torns' tall timber

THE Launceston Tornadoes unveiled their newest recruit yesterday - 20-year-old forward Nadeen Payne.

The Queenslander is a star performer for Adelaide Lightning in the WNBL, and last year's SEABL cellar-dwellers hold high hopes that Payne, her Adelaide teammate Lauren Mansfield and Townsville Fire's Alex Wilson can help the Tornadoes improve ahead of season 2014.

Payne started her WNBL career at the age of 16 with the Australian Institute of Sport, and at 186 centimetres provides much needed height for the short Torns.

``I really wanted a change and the league is really great this year, really competitive and I feel like it will take my basketball to the next level,'' she said at a Scotch Oakburn College junior school clinic.

``No team likes losing, so it is a challenge that I am really looking forward to, we've got a decent team this year.

``We are quite small, fast and have got some really good shooters.''

Payne said she would like to play in Europe in the next few years, break into the Opals squad and get drafted into the WNBA.

The Tornadoes won their first practice match against the Tasmanian under-18 girls on Sunday and assistant coach Alicia Riley said everything went to plan.

``We worked with Nadeen through some offences and introduced her to the style of the game we want to play,'' she said.

``The main thing we wanted was to find chemistry between the girls and I think we did that.

``Nadeen and Liv (Olivia Howard) worked really well together and I think they will be a great front-court combination.''

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