Talbot and Whitcomb to fulfill WNBA dream

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Australian Opal Steph Talbot and WNBL star Sami Whitcomb were today announced as the latest WNBA signings, joining Phoenix Mercury and Seattle Storm respectively.

Talbot, currently playing in Poland, was first selected by the Mercury in the 2014 draft as the 33rd overall pick and has decided to join Phoenix for the 2017 season.

The Mercury’s connection with Australian talent remains strong even after the retirement of Penny Taylor last year as Talbot follows in the footsteps of past Phoenix players including Michele Timms, Michelle Brogan, Tess Madgen and Rio Olympic team mate, Cayla George.

Talbot hit the court in all six games of Australia’s most recent Olympic campaign and is one of the shining stars of the future of the Opals program.

Debuting in the WNBL in 2011 with the Adelaide Lightning, she was named the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2013, the same year she starred in the Under-19 World Championship.

The shooting guard averaged 13.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists (second best) in that tournament while helping Australia to the bronze medal.

This season with AZS PWSZ Gorzow Wielkopolski in Poland, Talbot sits in the top ten in the league for points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks and has recorded a triple-double during the campaign.

Whitcomb is having a similarly impressive season in the WNBL with the Perth Lynx and is one of the current candidates for the MVP.

The guard has been named to the Team of the Week a record 13 times while averaging a competition best 24.1 points per game with 4.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists (seventh in the league) and a total of 59 steals (20 more than any other player).

She will join the Storm following the completion of the 2016/17 WNBL season as Perth are still fighting to cement a playoff spot and will attend the Seattle training camp with the aim to secure a permanent contract with the club.

If successful, Whitcomb has the chance to play alongside reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year Breanna Stewart as well as Australians Abby Bishop and Jenna O’Hea.