Allen, a bronze-medalist for the Opals at the 2014 FIBA Women’s World Championships in Turkey, has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the basketball world since joining the senior Opals squad in 2014.
“I’m just really excited. I’m really excited with how quickly it’s all happened for me. I feel like I’m in a really good situation in New York and I couldn’t be happier playing there,” Allen said.
“Playing for the Opals played a huge role in my preparation to make this decision. Some of my teammates like Erin Phillips and Penny Taylor play over there and said some things to me. Erin in particular said ‘Yeah, you should give it a go,’ and I really started to think that this was for me.
“When we started to play against those WNBA teams on tour I felt as though I held my own and did a good job. They’re very athletic and play a similar game to what I do, so I feel that it’s an exciting and good thing for me to be a part of.”
Brendan Joyce, who coached Allen and the Opals during the FIBA World Championships in Turkey last year, was not surprised to see her make the move to the States.
“I am not surprised that Bec Allen has been signed to play in the WNBA,” Joyce said.
“We fast tracked Bec with the Opals in 2014 by taking her on all tours and playing games against WNBA teams in their pre-season, and on our international tours to Japan and Europe.”
“Then Bec made the Opals World championship team as a back up to Penny Taylor that won the Bronze medal in Turkey. Bec has the length and body type and quickness and athletic ability that can see her play and have a great impact in the WNBA.”
Joyce also added the benefits that will come to the development of Allen’s game by playing in the WNBA.
“Bec will play in the right position as a guard and wing and the fast paced and free flowing game can also enhance her skill package in the WNBA that will assist her with the international game.”
Allen took full advantage of Joyce’s decision to include her in the initial Opals training camp through to the World Championships; an experience that she claims helped her make the decision to play abroad, and her unique skills set and high potential immediately caught the attention of the Liberty during the scouting process.
“We are excited to bring [Rebecca] to our organization,” explained Kristin Bernert, Senior Vice President of Business and Basketball Operations for the New York Liberty.
“Rebecca is a young player that we feel has a high ceiling. Adding [her] to our roster is an important step in building a team that will compete for the WNBA Championship."
Whilst Allen is no stranger to the big stage of world basketball, there is one aspect of her signing that certainly has her excited about New York’s upcoming season.
“I think I’m most looking forward to playing at Madison Square Garden. It’s one of the biggest stages that you can possibly play on so to play there is going to be unreal and something that I’m really excited about – along with the shopping!”
Allen has been a standout performer for the Melbourne Boomers in the WNBL this season, averaging a career-best 14.4 points per game whilst being amongst the league-leaders in both steals (1.7 spg) and rebounds (6.3 rpg).
In 2014, Allen was named the WNBL Defensive Player of the Year, a facet of her game that was in high demand by her WNBA suitors.
Rebecca Allen Player Bio
Junior Club: Nunawading (VIC)
WNBL Clubs: Dandenong Rangers 2009 – 2010; AIS 2010 – 2012; Melbourne (formerly Bulleen) Boomers 2012– Current.
Career Highlights: FIBA U19 World Championships: 2011 (Semi Final); FIBA Women’s World Championships: 2014 (Bronze Medallist)