BENDIGO Spirit have unveiled their first major playing signing for the 2018-19 WNBL season.
The Spirit have prised emerging star and former Australian junior Abbey Wehrung away from Canberra Capitals
The 22 year old point guard was on the Opals radar for this year’s Commonwealth Games, fresh from starring for the Emerging Opals in their World University Games gold last year.
Wehrung had a standout 2017-18 with the Capitals, and is looking forward to again working with Spirit coach Simon Pritchard after the pair were part of the Under-17 Sapphires campaign in Amsterdam in 2012.
“I’m so excited and super keen for a new beginning in Bendigo, to be coached under Simon and to be a part of the great team that he will put together,” she said.
“I'm looking forward to really working hard and improving my game under Simon.
“He's had a lot to do with my basketball since under-17 level and I know he has a lot of belief in me and my game.
“I'm just thrilled to have signed on with the Spirit.”
It’s a homecoming of sorts for Wehrung, who hails from Korweinguboora - just outside Daylesford - and has been a standout for SEABL club Ballarat Rush in recent seasons.
She said being closer to home and family, as well as being back in country Victoria where “it all began” were key factors in her decision to sign.
Wehrung averaged 9.5 points 3.25 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game for the Capitals last season, all career highs.
Pritchard said the gutsy shooter would bring hard work to the Spirit on and off the court.
“Abbey will fit in nicely to our team as she is an unselfish blue-collar worker, who exudes all the qualities we embrace at the Bendigo Spirit,” he said.
“Abbey's defensive ability will help us to get our team defence back to level of previous Spirit teams.
“She will start working at our first mini-camp in the second week of April.”
“We are proud to bring Abbey back to country Victoria. She was produced here and we want to see her reach for the Opals over the next couple of seasons.”