Tessa Lavey will return to the basketball court for the Bendigo Braves in 2019.
It will be the second time the 25-year-old from Swan Hill has played for the Braves, after a stint with the club during 2015.
“I’m really excited to be back in Bendigo and I can’t wait to get the season going,” Lavey said.
“To play on the Stadium’s new basketball court is going to be wicked.
“I want to be part of the title defence, we have a huge chance to win again this year.
“I knew that coming into the season that it (title defence) would be one of our main challenges and that teams would be coming after us.
"But I love a challenge.”
The Braves won the 2018 SEABL championship. The SEABL has since disbanded and the club will play in a new state league in 2019.
“The new league is going to shape up well,” Lavey said.
“In the first year there is always going to be a few glitches which everyone will be aware of, but in the long run it’s going to be awesome for Basketball in Victoria and the other states.”
Lavey has WNBL experience with Canberra, Perth, Dandenong and Bendigo Spirit
Since the 2015 season, Lavey was part of the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning Opals team and also earned a silver medal at the FIBA World Championships.
“My experience is going to show on the court this year which has grown over the past couple of years,” Lavey said.
“Looking forward to showing our fans what I can do on and off the court and I’m also keen to get out into the community and help with the junior players.”
Lavey said returning to the Braves would help her continue to develop her skills and progression as a player.
“I have a goal which is Tokyo 2020 (Summer Olympics),” Lavey said.
“I’ve been struggling with consistency and that’s what I want to find here in Bendigo.
“I’m looking forward to getting out on the court, playing hard and doing what I can for the team.”
Braves coach Megan Moody said Lavey was a great addition to the team.
“Tessa brings so much experience for a player of her young age, couple that with her leadership skills and proven ability to perform at the highest level and you have an asset for any team.”
Bendigo Stadium general manager of sport Ben Harvey was thrilled to see Lavey back in a Braves uniform.
“She (Tessa) is an exceptional player and an even better person,” Harvey said.
“Tessa is an example for young kids from regional Victoria, and what can be achieved with hard work and determination.”
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