WHILE the WNBL has committed to a season without imports, Bendigo Spirit will at least have some international flavour on its roster in 2020-21.
The Spirit have announced New Zealand Tall Ferns squad member Mary Goulding as their latest signing.
The 23-year-old joins the Spirit following a highly successful three-year stint at New York's Fordham University, highlighted by an Atlantic 10 championship last year in a team which she captained, and was named Most Valuable Player.
A desire to play in Europe led Goulding to a stint with the Swedish League club IK Eos before the season was suspended in March due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
She had more recently committed to play in the Queensland NBL1 with the Rockhampton Cyclones before that season was also cancelled.
It was a conversation with second-year Bendigo Spirit coach Tracy York that convinced both parties that Goulding's immediate future was in the WNBL.
"Everything about Mary impressed me. I watched plenty of her tape but when we spoke, she confirmed that she is the right kind of person for the Bendigo Spirit," York said.
"She is a team-first player with a high IQ and confidence."
A standout at Fordham, Goulding led the Rams in overall field goal percentage at 47.9 per cent and 39.8 per cent from the three.
But it is not just her shooting that coach York believes will be of benefit to the Spirit.
"Mary will also bring those one-percenters to the team, she hustles, rebounds and leaves everything on the floor," York said.
"She is a leader and is all about making everyone else better."
(Mary) is a team-first player with a high IQ and confidence.Tracy York
Goulding was delighted to commit to the Spirit for the 2020-21 season.
"I have a soft spot for Australia and am grateful for this opportunity," Goulding said.
"The culture of the team and community really appeals to me and I hope I can be an asset to the team and grow as a player both on and off the court.
"I look forward to the start of the season."
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