WNBA Beckons for Aussie Duo

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Two Aussies are bound for the USA with Stephanie Talbot signing with the Los Angeles Sparks and Cayla George joining the Las Vegas Aces.

The big news was unveiled early on Thursday morning in Australia as the WNBA free agency period began.

Finishing the 2022 season ranked 10th in the league in three-point percentage, the sharp-shooter connected on 39.7% from beyond the arc. She also added 5.0 points, 3.1 rebound and 1.3 assists in 34 games with the Storm.

No stranger to the WNBA, this will be Talbot’s sixth season having played in 162 games between Phoenix, Minnesota and Seattle, holding career averages of 4.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and shooting 37.6% from deep.

Currently playing for the Adelaide Lightning, the 2020 Tokyo Olympian has appeared in 15 games during the WNBL season, averaging 12.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists. In her most recent outing in the green and gold – the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup in Sydney – she saw action in eight games, posting averages of 8.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while shooting 38.1% from beyond the arc, to help the Seven Consulting Opals take home the bronze.

Speaking to the Sparks website, Talbot said she was thrilled to begin a new chapter with the Sparks.

“I am excited to sign with the Los Angeles Sparks for the next two years,” she said.

“Talking to KB and Curt over the past week, I loved their vision for both myself and the team. I’m really looking forward to meeting my teammates and getting to work.”

Meanwhile fellow Opal and four-time WNBL Champion, George, will take to the court for the Aces next season – returning to the US after stints at Phoenix Mercury and the Dallas Wings.

The veteran South Australian centre is currently playing in her 15th season in the WNBL, putting up career-high numbers for the Melbourne Boomers this year, as well as posting the first triple-double in a decade. She is ranked third in the league in scoring (18.6 ppg), second in rebounding (11.9 rpg), 10th in assists (4.7 apg), 7th in steals (1.8 spg), and 7th in blocked shots (0.8 bpg).

Her WNBA career began in 2015 when she signed with the Phoenix Mercury as a free agent. She averaged 5.0 points and 3.1 rebounds as a rookie helping the Mercury to the Western Conference Finals. George most recently suited up in the W for the Dallas Wings in 2018 where she averaged 3.6 points and 2.8 rebounds.

On the international stage for the green and gold, George has won three medals in FIBA Women’s World Cups and played in the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Chatting to the Aces’ website, George said she couldn’t wait to line-up with and play against the top basketballers in the world.

“I am really excited to join the Aces organization, and to be back playing in the WNBA,” said George.

“To be able to play alongside some of the best players in the world, and to be coached by Becky is something I am really looking forward to.”

Congratulations, Cayla and Steph!