WNBL | Team Preview series – Adelaide Lightning

THE Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) is getting extremely close to commencing its 2023/24 season, with the opener set to take place on November 1.

Last season, there was plenty of excitement as locals and imports alike fired for each of the eight teams, with a plethora of highlights gathering plenty of attention to one of the fastest growing women’s basketball competitions in the world.

The Townsville Fire won their last 16 games of the season (including finals), and claimed the ultimate prize in a dominant finish to their campaign. They will now become the hunted as seven other sides look to prevent them from going back to back.

There were plenty of player movements over the off-season too, as sides load up with a mixture of homegrown and international talent for the upcoming fixture, changing the landscape of the competition.

With that in mind, Rookie Me Central will be placing each side under the microscope, taking a look how all eight sides are faring in the build up to the season.

Kicking things off in the first installment are the Adelaide Lightning, who have built a roster with plenty of potential.

Adelaide Lightning

2022/23 record – five wins, 16 losses

It was a season to forget for Adelaide, with the Lightning unable to make a dent in the finals race and looking to turn things around in their upcoming campaign.


Bianca Stasinowsky, Brianna Turner, Brooke Basham, Lizzy Tonks, Ella Batish, Isabelle Bourne, Isobel Borlase, Jess Simons, Jocelyn Willoughby, Lauren Mansfield, Molly Coleman, Sharna Thompson, Stephanie Talbot, Tayla Brazel, Taylor Mole

The Lightning will be without Talbot for much of the season, as the star continues her recovery from an ACL injury. However, there is plenty of versatility within the lineup, and some exciting prospects to boot, so Adelaide may overachieve at points of the fixture.

Imports Willoughby and Turner appear the most versatile within the lineup, and can be placed in multiple positions to fit head coach Nat Hurst‘s needs. Both players have WNBL experience, and should be focal points of the team’s offence this season.

The Lightning also have plenty of young talent to excite fans, headlined by Borlase. The talented guard exploded onto the WNBL scene with some massive performance last season, and is expected to occupy the team’s guard position, whether it be at the one or the two next to Mansfield.

Bourne is another intriguing prospect on the team, joining Adelaide after a successful stint in the NCAAW system. She showed her potential during the River City Rebound preseason tournament, where she posted 28 points and eight rebounds against Townsville, putting the Lightning on her back. If she can carry this form into the regular season, it will be a big factor for Adelaide’s success.

The Lightning may not be in the conversation of contenders just yet given the youth in their starting lineup, the addition of some talented imports and the further development of their young guns should see the team improve on its five wins last time around.

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