Mikaela Ruef set for a return to Launceston Tornadoes

LOOK WHO'S BACK: American forward Mikaela Ruef is smiling again following the annoucement she has re-joined Launceston Tornadoes for the 2018 SEABL season,
LOOK WHO'S BACK: American forward Mikaela Ruef is smiling again following the annoucement she has re-joined Launceston Tornadoes for the 2018 SEABL season,

Launceston Tornadoes have pulled off a massive coup, luring back popular American import Mikaela Ruef to the club this season.

Ruef returns after severing ties with Hobart Chargers following just a one-year stint.

She will rejoin one-time teammate Ally Wilson after the pair’s 18-month hiatus away from Launceston. 

The latest signing is on the back of Tayla Roberts heading to Dandenong Rangers. 

Roberts only returned last year as the Tornadoes final restricted import when Ruef was forced to leave in a trial with WNBA club LA Sparks.

The 27-year-old had a first stint with the club in the 2015 and 2016 SEABL seasons before signing with Hobart when the Sparks cut Ruef.

Ruef is playing for French division one club Toulouse Métropole Basket and an immediate return to Launceston depends on how deep the side goes in the finals.

“I’m very excited to have re-signed with the Torns,” Ruef said from France.

“Tassie has been my second home for the past three years. I love this place and the Torns have become my family. Launceston has the best fans in the league and I feel lucky to be able to play in front of them again.”

Ruef last led the SEABL rebound count in her final Tornadoes season and was named in the SEABL starting five all-star team in 2016.

The 191cm forward was keen to link up with new coach Derrick Washington.

“I’ve spoken with him a bit through text, and he seems like a great guy and a great coach,” Ruef said. 

“We’re going to have a strong team this year with a good mix of local talent and import players.

“I just think we have all the ingredients to win a SEABL championship.

“We just have to work hard and play together, and I'm just happy to be a part of it.”