2023/24 WNBL Team Wrap – UC Capitals

IT was a season to remember in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) for the 2023/24 fixture, with an extremely tight season capped off with a marvellous finals series.

For a large portion of the season, most of the teams in the competition were in the hunt for a top-four spot. In fact it came down to the final round to determine which sides would advance to the postseason in a thrilling finish.

In the end, the Southside Flyers emerged champions after defeating the valiant Perth Lynx 2-1 in the Grand Final series.

With the season now wrapped, Rookie Me Central will be dissecting the performance of each club in the 2023/24 fixture, putting all 10 teams under the microscope now that the dust has settled.

The first team on the list are the UC Capitals, who endured another tough campaign, but still managed some positives throughout the season.

UC Capitals

2023/24 record – four wins, 17 losses
Ladder position – 8th


It was tough going for the Capitals for much of the season, enduring some extended losing streaks and falling behind in the standings. After suffering heartbreaking losses on several occasions, Canberra headed into Round 7 without a win next to its name. However, a huge upset over the Melbourne Boomers finally got the Capitals on the board, and reminded the rest of the competition what this young team is capable of. They followed it up with a 13-point triumph over the Adelaide Lightning the following week, and defeated the eventual champions and the runners-up a fortnight later in a stirring patch of form. It was a glimpse into the future for Canberra, and although no more wins came, it was a seriously big positive to take from the season given the quality of opposition it defeated.

MVP Jade Melbourne

It was a close battle here, with Alex Sharp producing a strong season of her own (16 points and 10.9 rebounds per game), but the team’s young gun takes the chocolates for season 2023/24. In the past two years, Melbourne has announced herself as one of the best young basketballers in the country, and took another step forward this season. She was the team’s leader on the offensive end, orchestrating the offence and proving a floor general with her dynamic style of play. Melbourne finished the season with averages of 16.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game, and appears destined for stardom in the near future, if she has not already reached that level.

THE COACHKristen Veal

Entering her second season at the helm of the Capitals, Veal was looking to improve on her debut campaign as coach, where the team won just two games. Having won three championships as a player, winning was a part of Veal’s life, and her improvement in the 2023/24 season edged closer to that reality. During the team’s winning streak, Canberra’s belief under her leadership was evident, and she put a lot of faith in Melbourne to be an on-court leader, which was an inspired move. Although the improvement will need to be bigger next season, it was still a step in the right direction.


It was always going to be a test of patience at times for the Capitals, given the amount of young talent on the team. Doubling the team’s win tally on last season was a big tick, but four wins is still well below contending status. Surrounding Melbourne and Sharp with some established players would help take the pressure off the star duo, while Canberra will also be hoping some of the other up and coming talent breaks out next time around.

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