Thunder go bang

Penina Davidson. AAP Image/Mark Evans)

Tara Murray

Keilor Thunder has further enhanced its National Basketball League 1 South women’s title hopes with the signing of two more Women’s National Basketball League stars.

Having already locked in Maddy Rocci and Isabelle Bourne, the Thunder announced Melbourne Boomer pair Tera Reed and Penina Davidson had also joined the club.

Davidson has been a key player for the Boomers for a number of seasons, while Reed was a sixth player of the year finalist in the recent WNBL season.

Thunder coach Krisiti Harrower said she had spoken to the pair last year about coming across and it had fallen into place.

“There are huge signings for us,” she said. “It is good for the program.

“I got to know who these girls are being part of the Boomer program. I tried to recruit them early days but we didn’t know what was happening with the New Zealand team and the Olympics,

“They’ve now committed, which is huge. They want to come to play for me which is really good for the program, which is one thing I wanted this year.”

Harrower said for her when she was putting the team together, it wasn’t just about the players, but the people they were as well.

She said it was a nice feeling that these top line players want to come and play for her.

“I played at the highest level and I had the respect of the players,” she said.

“The biggest thing for me, the thing I loved most was teaching. Giving back my experience.

“I worked with Maddy Rocci at the Opals last year and she wanted me to mentor her. These people want to come and play for me, it does add some more pressure.”

Harrower said the hardest thing early on for the group, but making sure they get the connections right on court.

With WNBL commitments, the squad is yet to train together.

“The hardest thing has been trying to get everyone together,” she said. “With a new coach, new players and new system.

“It’ll be a big first few rounds trying to bring everyone together. We might have to play a bit on instinct to get us through early.”

Harrower said the signing of high quality talent would help the younger Keilor girls help further develop.

She said while they might not have as many chances with a deeper squad, it will only benefit them in the long run.

“They’ll come in and push our players and push them to get better,” she said.

“The young ones get to train against quality players day in day out and learn so much training against them.

“They need to be sponges.”

The Thunder start its season on April 5 against the Frankston Blues.

Harrower knows with the squad they’ve put together there is some big expectations.

“There is pressure,” she said. “I have put a really good team together.

“We’ve got a lot of WNBL players who are great people as a start. Hopefully we’ll get the squad together really quickly and put everything in place.

“As every team, I hope we can do well and hopefully win a championship. I hope we are right up there.”