TESSA Lavey makes no secret of her ambition to be on the Australian Opals team at next year's rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games.
And the 27-year-old knows exactly what she needs to do in order to achieve that goal. It's been spelled out to her by Opals coach Sandy Brondello.
"Be a point guard," was Lavey's frank assessment of what would be required her to reach a second Olympics.
"Sandy's been upfront with me. Me and my agent chat and we have asked her the questions and she's given the answers.
"I've gotta show I can run a team, make good decisions down the stretch, that sort of stuff."
After much careful consideration, Lavey has determined her best shot at realising her dream of further Olympic representation lies with Bendigo Spirit.
The dual world championship representative this week recommitted to a second-straight season with the Spirit, the club she won a championship with in 2013-14, before going on to play with Perth Lynx and Dandenong Rangers and ultimately returning 'home' in 2019.
Lavey indicated there were 'other options' for her around the WNBL - likely plenty - but her faith in the club's direction and its support of her goals made re-signing an 'easy decision'.
"The main reason I decided to sign again in Bendigo is the culture we have here and the people we have here - that's really important to me," she said.
"Obviously being close to my family up in Swan Hill, it's easy for to see them as well.
"But the (Spirit) program has some really amazing things coming its way I believe. I am really excited to be involved in that.
"I also want to get to Tokyo and the club knows that, and they have reached out and been really supportive and vocal about that.
"That made a huge difference to me in my decision-making.
"I'm really looking forward to the season and running the point guard spot.
"I'm very confident of my abilities to do that here at the Spirit, and I think the coaching staff, as well as the administration staff are really supportive of that too.
"I'm excited for that to happen and I can't wait to get back into team training and see what the team is going to look like."
With five signings to date, the Spirit has a partial new-look already.
Lavey, Demi Skinner and last season's MVP Carley Ernst have been joined by Alicia Froling and talented young guard Cassidy McLean.
One player, who definitely won't be back, is Shyla Heal, with the young superstar heading to Townsville Fire.
Lavey said she was fully appreciative of Heal's decision to continue her blossoming WNBL career with a different team.
"Shyla really enjoyed her time in Bendigo and I reached out to her as soon as the announcement came up and wished her all the best," she said.
"She is going to be very successful in the future and we wish her nothing but the best."
Lavey identified a strong centre and defensive wing as priorities for the Spirit during the free agency period.
Bendigo Stadium Limited general manager of sport Ben Harvey said the club was fortunate to retain one of its most prized pieces.
"Tessa is such a great ambassador for Bendigo basketball and regional Victoria and is such a great role for our up-and-comers," he said.
"It's an exciting time for the Bendigo Spirit and we are really proud to have Tessa back in our program.
"I know (head coach) Tracy (York) and (assistant coach) Mark (Alabakov) are really happy to have her back."
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