New Bendigo Spirit import Becca Tobin has quite the story to tell.
Three years ago, Tobin collapsed at the Seattle Airport after a WNBA pre-season game with the Phoenix Mercury. Her heart stopped beating and she had to be revived by Seattle firefighters.
She was rushed to hospital where doctors installed a defibrillator in her chest.
The near-death experience did little to hinder Tobin’s passion for basketball.
In 2016, she received a second chance in the WNBA when she signed with the Los Angelse Sparks.
She played three pre-season games before being cut and heading to Europe where she’s played in Gemany the past two seasons.
Now 30, Tobin can’t wait to continue her basketball career in Australia.
“I have heard so many good things about the team and the city. I have always wanted to visit Australia, so now I get to live there for a few months and do what I love,” she said.
“It’s an amazing opportunity and I am really looking forward to working with (Spirit coach) Simon (Pritchard) and the team.
“I know the league is full of talent and really competitive, so I am really looking forward to it.”
Tobin played US college basketball with Arizona State and spent time in Italy, Romania, Hungary and France before her health scare.
The 195cm centre will provide the Spirit with some valuable experience in the frontcourt.
“Becca comes to us from two very successful seasons at Wasserburg in Germany where she played a dominant role as centre in two finals campaigns,” Spirit coach Simon Pritchard said.
“What I like about Becca is her ability to create a shot for herself, and that she will demand a double team.
“She has worked in tandem with a three-point-shooting number four player before, just like Nadeen. As a post duo, I feel they are going to be a lethal combination this season, one that Bendigo fans will enjoy.
“At the other end she will be able to defend all the other bigs in the league due to her length,” he said.
“She is so athletic that she can rotate on penetration and close out to all shooters. What fans can expect is Becca and Nat Hurst combining to create shots for everyone.”