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Kayla puts the D in Dandenong

DANDENONG Rangers import Kayla Pedersen has become the club's third winner of the WNBL's Best Defensive Player award, joining teammate Steph Blicavs (nee Cumming) and league legend Emily McInerny.

A gold medal World Champion with the Opals in 2006, McInerny was voted the WNBL's best defender a record nine times while Blicavs won the award in 2016.

Pedersen also is only the third import to win the "Robyn Maher Defensive Player of the Year" accolade, polling 25 of a maximum 42 votes as awarded by coaches and captains.

Kim Foley with Hobart Islanders in 1991 and Kesley Griffin at Bendigo Spirit in 2015 are the only other imports with defensive prowess on their resumes.

Having played for the Rangers in 2013-14, in 2017-18 Pedersen doubled her steals from her debut and also averaged 8.4 rebounds per outing.

(The announcement of her success today continues the WNBL's decision to again avoid any formal awards presentation - dinner/lunch/breakfast...brunch? - because, let's face it, it only had time to organise semi finals in a hurry.)

Imports Sami Whitcomb (recently naturalised) and Jennifer Hamson finished third and fourth in polling, Lauren Nicholson unlucky to be overlooked.

In other WNBL-related news, Whitcomb has been added to Sandy Brondello's Commonwealth Games Opals squad, as were Lightning pair Nicole Seekamp and Aimie Clydesdale.

The decisions show Brondello was true to her word when B.O.T.I. caught up with her here.

Expect announcements soon that Lightning pair Abby Bishop and Ruth Hamblin have landed playing gigs in Europe.

Jan 12

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