By Greg Oakford
KNOX Raiders SEABL women’s squad has shored up its chances for a finals berth this season with the signing of WNBL star, Caitlin Cunningham.
The 192cm versatile forward-centre is currently suiting up for the Dandenong Rangers in Australia’s national competition and will soon hit Knox Converse Stadium to re-unite with some old team-mates for the highly anticipated 2009 SEABL season.
One thing that the Knox coaching staff identified from last year’s team was the lack of a second consistent inside scorer to complement import Ashlee Dunlap.
With the inclusion of Cunningham, the Raiders will hope to address the void and believe they are in extremely capable hands with the services of Cunningham.
Cunningham brings an impressive resume to her new home at Knox Converse Stadium which includes selections to five Victorian Metro State teams, three years playing at the Australian Institute of Sport and selection to the Australian under-19s Women’s team which competed at the World Championships in 2005.
Over the past two seasons in SEABL Cunningham has been a force to be reckoned with playing for local-rival Nunawading Spectres.
The athletic forward in 2007 averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and one block each game which led to her selection as a forward on the All SEABL team.
Last season she posted impressive numbers of 16 points a game, six rebounds and one block, on a star-studded Spectres team which took out the regular season minor premiership and ended up falling to Kilsyth in the grand final.
Head coach Heath Anderson was ecstatic with his new addition for the season.
“I have been watching Cunningham dominate the SEABL for a couple of years and I have seen her develop and mature in a range of roles,” he said
Anderson said Cunningham was an exciting all-rounder on the court.
“She has the skill-set of a guard … shoots the jump shot at range, she can defend the ball but her major strength is her ability to run the floor,” he said.
“Cunningham has an uncanny ability to score and accumulate points.”
In other news, Raiders’ guard Sarah Graham has won the ‘Nivea player of the week’ for round 17 in the ADF WNBL for her phenomenal performance in the Logan Thunder’s upset victory over one of the championship favourites Adelaide Lightning last Friday night (6 February) in Brisbane.
The 19-year-old scored 19 points including three of five three-point shots to go with six rebounds. Sarah’s break-out rookie season has put her in serious contention for the ‘Betty Watson Rookie of the Year’ award.
By Greg Oakford