By Tara Murray
Sunbury Jets US recruit Lynn Leaupepe is hoping time with the Big V state championship basketball side will help take her game to the next level.
Leaupepe is the first Jets recruit announced for the next season as they look to assemble a side to take them to a fourth straight title.
Leaupepe was in Australia trying out for the Melbourne Boomers’ Women’s National Basketball League team when she met Jets coach Kennedy Kereama.
Kereama said Leaupepe, who comes fresh from college, was a tenacious defender and rebounder, athletically gifted and had an ability to create a shot off the dribble.
Kereama said Leaupepe fell into the Jets’ lap after her Boomers training.
“I offered her the opportunity to attend tryouts at Sunbury,” he said. “She turned up and proved to be a great fit for us, so bringing her on board was an easy decision.”
Kereama said Leaupepe’s twin sister, Dynn, also attended tryouts and was “just as talented”.
Leaupepe said she saw the Jets as a good opportunity.
“After a few practices and playing with some of the girls that played on the team before, I kind of saw myself being able to play with them,” she said.
“I plan on bringing my ability to drive and attack the basket hard out of transition and out of the offense and being a very effective and active rebounder.
“Also, I wanted to play for a coach who could help develop me into a player that can be able to play at the next level in the WNBL.”
Kereama said that while they had announced the signing of Leaupepe, the Jets’ squad for next season would be similar to the one that won this year’s championship.
The Jets announced last week that Courtney Duever and Orla O’Reilly would be back next season.
Duever, who won the league most valuable player award in 2017, returns after missing this year with a knee injury.
O’Reilly was the grand final’s most valuable player and was named in the league’s all star team this year.
MORE BIG V NEWS