GOING back-to-back is nothing unusual for the University of Canberra (UC) Capitals, with the reigning premiers having taken out the last two Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) titles. But in the off-season, the Capitals received a huge boost with back-to-back signings after co-captain Kelsey Griffin joined her leadership counterpart, Marianna Tolo in pledging her allegiance to the club for the 2020/21 season.
A past Most Valuable Player (MVP) winner in the WNBL, Griffin is a massive signing in Head Coach Paul Goriss‘ arsenal for the team to try and win a third consecutive premiership. Whilst much re-signing is still to be done across the league, the Capitals have secured their two leaders ahead of the season, an important first step in looking ahead to WNBL21.
“The success that Kelsey has had during her time here at the UC Caps is testament to her hard work, willingness to sacrifice and her winning mentality,” Goriss said to the UC Capitals website.
“The backbone of our team is Tolo and Griffin. “They provide the on-court grunt, leadership and work ethic that drives others to be better. “They both have different styles of leadership that works for them but they are both so critical to our success.”
“Kelsey has proven her worth in the WNBL and with the UC Caps with her determination and never give up attitude alongside her basketball IQ. “She continues to drive for excellence on court, in the gym, with her diet and preparation.
“This driving force is what makes her exceptional and a winner. She continues to play a very high level, and nobody out-works her. “We are privileged to have Griffin back again on court with the UC Caps and in the Canberra community.”
Griffin only managed the 16 games last season due to injury, but still put up a remarkable double-double average of 15.1 points and 10.6 rebounds for the Capitals. Along with this, Griffin managed a solid 2.9 assists and huge 2.9 steals and 1.0 blocks. Fully fit, there is little doubt Griffin could be the best player in the league, and the 188cm forward could be a catalyst in leading her side to more glory next season.
With little doubt she would re-sign with the Capitals, the Opals star was excited about the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, but the postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic has helped her recover from shoulder surgery.
“This down time has been incredible for reflection,” Griffin said. “I have had a good chance to slow down and re-prioritise what is important to me. “It’s been really good for me.”
“It’s been great to hear the WNBL will be going ahead in November, I think it is one of the best competitions in the world and therefore is the perfect preparation for anyone wanting to be in their best form heading into an Olympics.”
The WNBL season tips off in November with the full fixture yet to be released.