Madgen makes move to ignite Flames

THE WNBL free agency provides the opportunity to a number of teams that underperformed recently to retool and climb the standings once again.

The first few days off the 2023 free agency period have indicated that will be the case for the Sydney Flames, who finished at the bottom of the standings last season but have been aggressive in chasing new players.

The Flames recently announced the acquisition of star guard Tess Madgen ahead of the upcoming season, who will bring plenty to a Sydney roster that yearned for leadership last season.

At 32 years of age, Madgen has spent a lot of time in the Australian basketball system, and will fill that void in a big way with a wealth of experience.

The veteran spent most of last season with the Melbourne Boomers injured, and will be eager to hit the court once again after a long stint on the sidelines, joining the Flames on a two-year deal. She has previously played for the Boomers, the Bendigo Spirit and the Townsville Fire, showcasing her value for all three organisations.

Madgen’s biggest strengths come in the form of her IQ, shooting and effort on both ends of the court, willing to do whatever it takes to get her side over the line. Any team she has played on is often boosted by her team-first mentality that gets the best out of her teammates.

Regarded as one of the best leaders in Australian basketball, Madgen has captained the Opals at international level, bringing home a considerable amount of silverware in the process. She has also made appearances in the WNBA, further emphasising what a towering figure she is in female basketball.

With the ability to play both guard and forward positions, Madgen is an easy fit for any organisation, and spoke to the club’s website of her excitement to join the team.

“I’m super excited to sign on with the Flames for the next two seasons and be a part of that elite organisation,” Madgen said.

“Everything I’ve heard from the people around Hoops Capital, as well as in the media, is positive and that they’re going about growing the game of basketball the right way. 

“Not only that, but I also love the way they are trying to bridge the gap between men’s and women’s basketball – that equality aspect is important to me, and I respect the similar stance of the whole ownership group and their willingness to create change. 

“I’m excited to help close that gap even further during my time in Sydney – this was one of the main draw cards for me coming to the Flames, who I believe can become the number one women’s program in the country.

“To be honest, a lot of stars aligned, and I couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else and hopefully we can bring another championship back to Sydney.”  

Madgen’s brother Ben suited up for the Sydney Kings between 2010 and 2015, so there is also a family connection for the 32-year-old to continue with the organisation.

She joins Kiera Rowe, Tiana Mangakahia and Emma Clarke as current contracted players on Sydney’s list, with many more moves expected from the team in the coming weeks. Regardless of the remaining signings made by the Flames, Madgen will play a vital role and should be crucial in boosting team chemistry and cohesion on the court.

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