PICTURES: Snell signs on with Bendigo Spirit

AUSTRALIAN Opals guard Belinda Snell has signed on the back-to-back WNBL championships the Bendigo Spirit.

Snell, a three time Olympic medallist, was announced as the Spirit’s newest recruit on Tuesday.

She said she was thrilled to have the opportunity to play with such successful group of players.

“I am excited to come back to Australia and play with the Women’s National Basketball League and play in country Victoria,” Snell said.

The 33-year-old has played professionally all over the world including the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

It was there she was a part of the championship winning team in 2006.

Snell, originally from country town Mirboo North, said she was looking forward to returning to a regional city like Bendigo and share her wealth of knowledge and experience with the Spirit.

She said her flexibility on the court would help the team in their aim of winning their third-successive WNBL title.

“It is a great group of girls and I am looking forward to joining such a great organisation,” Snell

 “It is doing the little things, whether that is setting a good screen or a good box out..

“Sometimes it isn’t on the stat sheet but I just try and do the little things for the team.”

 Snell said having the chance to work with coach Bernie Harrower was also what drew her to Bendigo.

“I am excited to be playing for Bernie, I have been to the past three Olympics and was lucky enough to have him there,” he said.  

“He was supporting Kristi but also I have been able to get some feedback from here so it will be great to actually work with him.”

Harrower said Snell would be a give the team more versatility and scoring power.

“She is a flat-out scorer; she is a player you cannot leave open,” she said.  

“All our scouting against her over the years showed that you can’t leave her alone.”

Harrower said the Spirit was in a good position to win another WNBL championship.

“We are setting ourselves up to make a run at it, you never know how much the other teams have improved,” he said.

“Nothing is guaranteed but one thing I can tell you is with the group we have got we will give it one hell of a shake again.”

Snell will now join the Australian Opals camp in June before preparing for the World Championships. 

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