Bendigo to host WNBL pre-season tournament

Bendigo Spirit star Kelly Wilson will be back on the Bendigo Stadium court for the WNBL pre-season tournament.

Bendigo Spirit star Kelly Wilson will be back on the Bendigo Stadium court for the WNBL pre-season tournament.

BENDIGO will host the Women's National Basketball League pre-season tournament for the next two years.

All eight of the WNBL clubs will compete in the tournament.

Bendigo Spirit's star studded squad will be on home court alongside the likes of the Lauren Jackson-led Canberra and a new-look Dandenong outfit headlined by centre Liz Cambage.

The WNBL and City of Greater Bendigo major events department made the announcement at the Bendigo Stadium on Thursday.

This year's tournament will be held from October 10 to 12.

Chair of the Basketball Australia Board Scott Derwin praised the work of the Greater Bendigo council and the Bendigo Stadium. 

“The Wattle Valley WNBL Spring Shield brings together Australian women’s basketball elite together in the one location for three days of wall-to-wall competition,” he said.

“Fans get the opportunity to see the WNBL’s biggest stars all in the one place, including our Jayco Australian Opals, who will be competing hot off the heels of the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.

“Hosting the past two WNBL Grand Finals, Bendigo has proven itself a true basketball city; we know the fans of the region will embrace the Spring Shield and get along to see the action."

City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons said the tournament was another major sporting coup for the region. 

“We are delighted to host this event at the Bendigo Stadium for the next two seasons because it’s good for sport, great for tourism and fantastic for our local community," he said. 

“Bendigo Stadium is the home of basketball in our city and is one of regional Victoria’s premier venues for major events and a stadium to be proud of."

The Bendigo Spirit won the pre-season event in 2012 before going on to win the past two regular season championships.

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