Sydney Flames shooting guard Lauren Nicholson said she was excited about her new adventure in joining the Launceston Tornadoes for the upcoming SEABL season.
It will be the first venture to Tasmania for the 23-year-old WNBL player and her first experience playing in the SEABL competition.
“I’m looking forward to coming down to Tasmania,” Nicholson said.
“This is my first season back playing with the Flames and now my first season of SEABL.”
Nicholson said she had loved her first WNBL season and being back home in Sydney after four years in the US playing college basketball.
“It’s great getting the chance to play in front of my friends and family and the WNBL is very different to a lot of the basketball I’ve played in the past but I am starting to adjust and have loved the whole season and we’re doing quite well.”
Preparing for game two of the WNBL semi-finals against Townsville on Friday night, Nicholson said she was focused on what she needed to do to help Sydney at the moment but looking forward to her move to Launceston and playing with an established SEABL program.
“Ally Wilson, my Sydney teammate, has told me nothing but great things about the Tornadoes program and the people in Launceston and she would have definitely liked to have come back if she had not wanted to head home to Adelaide,” she said.
“I can’t wait to play with a new group of girls especially Lauren (Mansfield) and Mikaela (Ruef) who I have played a few games against this season.
“I am looking forward to getting my season underway and starting my journey with the Torns.”
Nicholson said her four years spent playing at St Mary’s College in California had been a fantastic experience.
“I loved it over there and it has probably been the highlight of my basketball career so far and I just had a ball.
“It was a way different experience to anything over here and it was good to come out with a degree at the other end as well.”
As a shooting guard, Nicholson hoped she could bring “a little bit of everything” to the Tornadoes team.
“I do have the ability to score and to rebound and play defence – a little bit of everything and maybe just being a team player and help us get a few wins down there.”
She said she had originally planned to spend her off-season in Sydney but after conversations with Tornadoes coach Ben Rush had been drawn to the opportunity at the end of the WNBL season.
“We have a three game semi-final series in WNBL right now and we won the first one,” Nicholson said.
“We are heading up to Townsville tomorrow and if we win that game we will come back and play the winner of Perth and Dandenong in a three-game series.”
Nicholson wants to continue her WNBL and SEABL career for another couple of seasons before potentially heading to play in the tough European market.
“I have an aspiration to one day play for Australia too – whether that happens or not – it is something I have always wanted to do.”