WNBL star Maddie Garrick is returning to the club where her career began.
The now 29-year-old started with the Bendigo Spirit in the 2012/13 season and will be back on court with the club for WNBL 2021/22.
Shepparton-born Garrick is back after spending the past six seasons with the Melbourne Boomers in addition to winning silver with the Opals at the FIBA Asia Cup in 2017.
Garrick won back-to-back championships with the Spirit (2012/13,2013/14) and now years later couldn't be happier to be back at the Bendigo Stadium.
"I can't wait to build on those great memories and have the chance to do it all again," Garrick said.
"I am excited to come back to the Spirit as I've grown as both a player and person.
"This change has come at a perfect time for me to take on a new challenge and continue to expand my game with impact on and off the court," she said.
Her experience will be joined by a growing list of new and returning players onboard for the season, which includes Tessa Lavey, Demi Skinner, Leilani Mitchell and Anneli Maley.
Spirit haven't been in the business end of a season since 2014-15 under Bernie Harrower, but Garrick said the team would be a contender.
"I believe we will be strong competitors to get back to playing finals," Garrick said.
"I'm really looking forward to new opportunities with Bendigo and playing with the squad that is being put together, which will be an exciting team to watch this season."
Spirit coach Tracy York said Garrick was an ideal player for the team both on and off the court.
"She is a versatile and very talented offensive player who also showed last year in the hub she can be a lock down defender," York said.
"We think Maddie brings an X-factor about her, as we have seen with the Boomers and on the world stage.
"Bring all those things together, especially her mindset of always wanting to improve no matter how many years you've been playing, and it's a sign of a great player."
The decision to come back to Bendigo was a no-brainer as Garrick was eager for a new challenge.
"I'm looking for an experience where I can really squeeze out everything I have left as I feel I've only just scratched the surface and have more to give.
"This is going to be a new challenge, environment, coach and opportunity that will allow me to play more freely."
Still months out from this year's WNBL, Garrick is currently a member of Australia's 3X3 Tokyo squad.
Playing the format has brought her plenty of success, but also deeper experience which she endeavours to apply with the Spirit.
In addition, she was thrilled to return to the court in front of regional Victorian crowds.
"I'm a country girl from Shepparton, I always have a soft spot for country towns," Garrick said.
"When I was in Bendigo I remember how passionate the community and supporters are in getting around the Spirit.
"There's also plenty of media around the team giving women's sport exposure as well as the Stadium giving us the opportunity to be the best that we can be."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: