The Launceston Tornadoes will welcome back point guard and captain Lauren Mansfield for a sixth-consecutive season.
The club’s reigning MVP and Opals representitive, who will join the Torns following her stint with Polish Energa Torun club Basket Liga Kobiet, is the fourth import committed heading into round 1.
Mansfield, 28, joins impact players Ally Wilson, Lauren Nicholson and Mikaela Ruef as American coach Derrick Washington’s major signings.
Tasmanian Ellie Collins has also re-committed.
“The club has really started to develop a winning culture over the past three seasons and I know we are all looking to continue what we have started,” Mansfield said.
“I look forward to working with our new head coach Derrick and continue to develop the younger local players who are starting to have an impact in the SEABL competition.”
The Tornadoes have finished Southern conference runners-up for the past two seasons and Washington believes Mansfield’s leadership is a reason behind the club’s consistency.
Mansfield is averaging 9.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists and 33 minutes court time in Poland, with Washington keeping a close eye on his skipper’s game style.
“Her dedication and commitment to the program is a testament to her character and loyalty,” Washington said.
“Lauren has proven herself over the last two WNBL seasons to be one of the best point guards in the country.
“She has gained greater experience playing in Europe this year and being part of the Opals squad for the past 12 months will give her extra confidence on the court.”
Launceston-raised star Tayla Roberts, 25, has signed on with the Dandenong Rangers and Washington said that now his squad’s backbone was in order, his focus would shift to finalising the rest of his list.
Washington, who has WNBA experience with the Dallas Wings, replaced New Zealander Richard Dickel in December following a lengthly recruitment process.
SEABL | ROUND 1
- WHAT: Launceston Tornadoes v Kilsyth
- WHEN, Saturday, April 7, from 6.30pm
- WHERE: Elphin Sports Centre.