New Bendigo Spirit recruit Kelsey Griffin is setting her sights high for this season, saying she would love to be a part of the club’s first WNBL championship.
After arriving in Australia on Monday ahead of the undefeated Spirit’s clash with Dandenong at the Bendigo Stadium on Saturday night, Griffin trained with the team for the first time on Tuesday and said she thoroughly enjoyed the session.
“It was great, I really love the vibe and the energy of the team,” the 25-year-old said.
“It’s a great group of girls, and they’ve made it really easy to fit in, so it’s been really good.”
Griffin, an Alaskan native, plays for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, who were beaten in the eastern conference finals by the eventual WNBA champion Indiana Fever.
“It was disappointing for the season to end how it did, we really wanted to make the finals, but to lose to Indiana who went on to win it all makes it a little better,” she said.
“Every team wants to win a championship, and I would love to be a part of hopefully making that happen for the Spirit.”
Griffin, who led Nebraska to its best ever finish, and averaged 20.4 points and 10 rebounds a game in her final season there, said that her relationship with former Huskers teammate Chelsea Aubry was a big factor in her joining the club.
“I was talking to Chels a lot before I came here and I was asking about it, and she’s definitely helped me make it feel like home,” she said.
“Playing with her was a huge factor in getting me over to Australia. Usually I go to Europe in the (American) winter and I was considering playing in Asia, but I wanted to have a year to have some fun.
“I really want to improve my game, and feel as though I can really use Kristi and the rest of the team to build my knowledge and become a better pro.
“Being such a strong basketball country, I thought Australia would be a great place to do that, and still play at a really high level.”
Griffin’s inclusion will be a welcomed addition for a Spirit side which is riding high following five straight wins going into Saturday night’s clash with Dandenong.
The Spirit defence is conceding a league-low 63.6 points per game, while Spirit stars Kristi Harrower and Gabe Richards sit first and third in the league in points per game, respectively.
Coach Bernie Harrower has described the game as “vital” for the Spirit, as a win would improve their record to 6-0 and give them two games advantage on the reigning premiers heading into their bye next week.