Lady Braves sign American forward

THE Bendigo Lady Braves have had a win on the eve of the season opener with American import LaSondra Barrett signing with the club for the 2014 SEABL season. 

Barrett, who spent four years with US college powerhouse Louisiana State University, was drafted at number 10 in the 2012 WNBA draft. 

Barrett will join Bendigo after playing with the Sydney Uni Flames in the last WNBL season. 

During her stint with the Flames, Barrett averaged 7.9 points and 5.6 rebounds. 

The 188cm forward said she couldn't wait to don the Braves colours. 

“I’m hoping to bring a lot of versatility and contribute in any way I can to the team," Barrett said. 

“I’ve enjoyed my time in Australia and Bendigo is a great place for me to continue my career.”

Barrett's impressive basketball career also includes winning gold with the USA from the under-19 world championships. 

Before landing in Australia the 24-year-old played professionally in Israel.

She averaged 6.5 points and five assists with Ramat Hasharon in the Israeli Female Basketball Premier League. 

The Lady Braves hope Barrett will combine well with her new teammates. 

Lady Braves coach  Jonathan Goodman said Barrett's signing was an important one, just day's away from the first game of the season. 

“LaSondra has great basketball credentials and proven that she can compete at an elite level,” he said.

“Her size, athleticism and playmaking ability should present a lot of match-up problems around the league.

“She can play either of the forward positions and is comfortable working on the perimeter or battling in the paint.”

Barrett joins Alex Bunton, Kerryn Harrington, Chantella Perera and Rosie Fadljevic for the 2014 season. 

Lauren King, Jane Chalmers Heather Oliver, Molly Greetham, Elise Strachan and Caitlin McLachlan have all returned. 

The Lady Braves will begin their defence of their 2013 conference title against Brisbane on Saturday at the Bendigo Stadium. 

Tip-off is at 6pm. 

The men's team also begin their campaign, their game begins at 8pm. 

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