Griffin joins Spirit
Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 17-Oct-2012
The Bendigo Spirit have signed American Kelsey Griffin as their second import for the 2012/2013 WNBL season.
Griffin just completed her playoff run with the Sun in the WNBA, losing out in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Indiana Fever.
Griffin will replace the Spirit's original import signing Kathleen Scheer, who had to head back to the United States due to a knee injury.
She was taken with pick 3 in the 2010 WNBA Draft by Minnesota Lynx and traded to Connecticut in exchange for the Sun's 2011 first and second round draft choices.
In her two seasons with Connecticut. Griffin has averaged 15.1 minutes per game, scoring 3.7 points per game and pulling down 3.6 rebounds, and was named in the 2012 WNBA All-Rookie team.
Current Spirit player Chelsea Aubry is a former University of Nebraska teammate of Griffin's, and coach Bernie Harrower said that was a key factor in the Spirit's push to recruit her.
“I think Kelsey’s strengths as a scorer, rebounder and great team player, will fit perfectly into our system,” Harrower said.
“It’s great that she’s been a team mate of Chelsea at college because along with Kelsey’s obvious ability to play at this level, it was good to have a personal recommendation.”
Harrower said Griffin's versatility and athleticism will be a major boost for the Spirit, who have started their WNBL campaign undefeated through four games.
"This team was built around having another athletic, scoring forward to play a versatile role at both ends of floor," he said.
"Since we lost original import to injury, we’ve been on the lookout for the right player and person to fill that role.”
Griffin is expected to arrive in Australia early next week, and subject to visa approvals could play in the Spirit's game against Dandenong at the Bendigo Stadium on October 27.
Star off season recruit Renae Camino is expected to return in time for the game against Dandenong, having not recvered from a calf injury and facing at least another week on the sideline.
Camino has sat out the opening two weeks of the WNBL season and has not returned to running as yet, and will only be able to to sit and watch the Spirit's first home game at the Bendigo Stadium this Saturday night against the West Coast Waves.
Meanwhile, centre Gabe Richards has been named the WNBL Fans' Player of the Week for round two.
Richards continued on her strong start to the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds in Bendigo's Friday night defeat of Bulleen, and added 19 points and 11 rebounds in the Spirit's 12-point win over Dandenong on Saturday.
She is the second Bendigo player to win the award from the opening two rounds, following on from teammate Kristi Harrower in round one.