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Ebzery to Flames, Standish at Perth


OPALS’ Rio Olympian Katie-Rae Ebzery will be back in the WNBL in 2017-18, helping her beloved Sydney Uni Flames in their title defence.

Ebzery, 27 and a 178cm guard, spent the 2016-17 season with Dynamo Moscow and will be a huge plus for the Flames, who must cover the loss to Europe of Rachael Sporn Medallist Leilani Mitchell.

It means Cheryl Chambers will have Tahlia Tupaea, Ebzery, Alex Wilson, Belinda Snell and Jennifer Hamson as her main core group, with a replacement for athletic power forward Asia Taylor still in the works.

Don’t be surprised if Sydney makes a play for MAC Adelaide Lightning captain Laura Hodges now she has been named in the Opals squad ahead of the Asia Cup and probably keen to continue to play.

Hodges, 33, spent much of the off-season contemplating her future and of starting a family with husband Tim, most likely the reason she was not immediately signed by her home club.

With Townsville securing Cayla George back, Kayla Standish is on the move and likely to be wearing the red of the Perth Lynx in 2017-18.

Standish (below), 27 and a 188cm power forward, averaged 11.8ppg and 5.1rpg with the Fire in 2016-17 after spending the previous season at Adelaide Lightning.

She will join Alice Kunek in Perth’s frontcourt, former Lynx import Ruth Hamblin in Lightning blue next season.

THE WNBL has landed a genuine “partnership” with FOX Sports, not just a broadcast partner, the network actively assisting the league’s pursuit of commercial support.

Sally Phillips, head of the WNBL, and Basketball Australia’s WNBL general manager Paul Maley have been in deep talks with the pay-TV provider and could not be happier.

“Fox is helping us in our search for commercial partnerships for the league,” Phillips said.

“They're helping us co-sell and we’re moving along full-steam ahead.

“We’re going in together with the broadcast assets we’re offering to (commercial) partners.”

Maley agreed the deal with FOX is a bona fide partnership and that the landscape has changed in regards to how commercial entities now are viewing women’s sport generally.

Free-to-air broadcast discussions also are continuing, with two networks showing great interest.

FOX PARTNERSHIP: Sally Phillips and Paul Maley, delighted at FOX Sports' support.

THE Free Throw Foundation's fund-raising lunch tomorrow at the Arkaba Hotel in Adelaide from 12pm until 2, will feature Olympians Andrew Gaze and Laura Hodges as its guest speakers.

The lunch cost of just $50 includes a $15 donation towards the Free Throw Foundation, which assists financially embattled young South Australian basketballers.

Separate tickets now also are on sale via David Spear at david.spear@vuca.com.au or on 0408404910.

May 25

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.