WNBL Player Spotlight 2021/22 – Perth Lynx – Alex Sharp

THE WNBL season is getting closer each day, and the preparations of each team are starting to ramp up as the pre-season reaches the pointy end. In our player spotlight series, we take a look at the starting lineup of each team and what each player will bring to the table. With plenty of exciting player movements around the league, there are set to be some enthralling dynamics across the league. The first team on the agenda is the Perth Lynx, who made headlines across the WNBL with their ability to bring in talented players both domestically and internationally.

The club recently regained the signature of one of the biggest surprises of the 2020 WNBL season in Alex Sharp, who is returning to the side following a two-year deal. The deal indicated the club’s impression of her throughout the COVID interrupted season.

A Melbourne native, Sharp was involved in the basketball system from a young age. She attended the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) before making the move to the United States to compete in the collegiate system, considered the best in the world for athletes at this age.

Sharp attended Wake Forest in North Carolina, and was able to compete against the best in the world. She spent four years competing in the NCAA, where she averaged double digits in three of her four seasons, with a career high points per game average of 12.7 per game.

It was during this time that it became evident that she had the ability to not only score the ball, but crash the boards to secure the rebound for her side at a consistent basis. She averaged over 8.4 rebounds per game in her last three seasons at Wake Forest, and in doing so, was able to add another string to her bow.

She joined the Perth Lynx ahead of the 2020 season, which was unfortunately held in a hub due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many players struggled to adjust to the harsh playing conditions and change of scenery, but Sharp instead thrived, producing a season that caught the eye of not only her coaches, but players and staff across the league.

She averaged 8.9 points per game (ranked fourth for the team) and 7.8 rebounds (ranked first in the team) in what proved to be a breakout season. This strong display proved enough to earn her a call-up at the recent 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup for the Australian Opals, one of the biggest honours in Australian sport.

With Australia emerging victorious from the third place classification match. Sharp was awarded a bronze medal for her efforts. Her strongest performance came in the Opals’ blowout win over the Philippines, where she recorded 12 points and six rebounds in just 15 minutes of action. Having played five games in six days throughout this time, the mandatory two week quarantine period should give Sharp some well-needed rest for the upcoming season.

The Lynx will be eager to regain her services for the upcoming season, having played a key role last season.

Perth Lynx General Manager Brent Dawkins says Sharp has showed the basketball her immense talent in the past 12 months.

“She obviously had a breakout year last season,” Dawkins says.

“She then stayed in WA and played in the WNBL1 West where she was named league MVP, won a title and was named the MVP of the league, so she’s had a fair few months on top of winning a bronze medal.”

“She’s been exciting and will certainly be looking to improve in the 2021-22 season.”

With the Lynx adding a number of new players, Sharp will be looking to gel with the inclusions, and improve from her exceptional season last year.

Picture credit: Albert Perez/Getty Images

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