Aussies in the WNBA: Melbourne makes her mark

THE Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) season has kicked off for the 2023 season, and there are plenty of Aussies making an impact on the big stage.

The Australian basketball factory is continuing to churn out plenty of strong players, with that figure growing on a yearly basis. The WNBL season wraps just before the beginning of the WNBA fixture, so some of the country’s best players head overseas and perform under the brightest of lights.

With the season kicking off earlier this month, a few Aussies have already hit the court in the WNBA, catching the eye in the opening batch of games.

One of the standouts for the first few weeks was Jade Melbourne, who has started her time with the Seattle Storm in fine fashion. She was drafted to the team ahead of the 2023 season, and the highly touted youngster certainly has the skillset to make it at WNBA level.

Against the Phoenix Mercury, Melbourne was given nearly 20 minutes of court time, which is a reflection of the coaching staff’s confidence in her ability. During that playing time, she recorded six points (2/7 shooting from the field), four rebounds (one offensive) and three assists in a solid outing that likely gave Seattle plenty of reassurance on its faith in her.

Also making a move into the WNBA was Aussie duo Anneli Maley and Alanna Smith, who have been suiting up for the Chicago Sky. Both have shown plenty of strong play at WNBL level, and are now plying their craft in the windy city.

Maley has already played in multiple games for the Sky, and has played a total of 17 minutes for Chicago. In that time, she has played to her strengths by pulling down five boards, posting four points and dishing out three assists across games against the Indiana Fever and the Minnesota Lynx.

Smith also played in multiple games for the Sky recently, and although she is still finding her feet at WNBA level for the 2023 season, her skillset will no doubt see her work into form as the fixture rolls on.

The number of Aussies having an impact at WNBA level is only going to grow as the season progresses, with a fair few to keep an eye on across the competition.

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