The Whittlesea Pacers have injected some youth into the side for this year’s Big V women’s state championship season.
The Pacers announced late last year they had signed two US imports, who join the club straight out of college.
Coach Damon Lowery was thrilled to sign Dani Reinwald and Rachel Bell.
“I did some searching and they are good people and good players,” he said.
“I was looking for young fresh players out of college, like I was at one stage, and to give them a shot.”
Lowery said versatility and having the ability to play multiple positions was a key strength of both imports.
Reinwald comes to the Pacers from Medaille University in the NCAA Division III in Upstate, New York.
In her senior season she averaged 19 points, 16.1 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 2.5 blocks a game.
Lowery said Reinwald would add some versatility to the side.
“She’s a forward-centre, who can play the perimeter,” he said.
“She was a rebounder and shot blocker in college and her stats were unbelievable.
“She’s got young legs and can score on the inside and outside.”
Bell comes to the Pacers from Vanderbilt University in the NCAA Division I where she averaged double figures. Lowery said Bell is a scoring guard who can create her own shots and can put the ball on the floor.
It will be a fresh start for the Pacers as they step back up into state championship level.
The Pacers, who were knocked out of the first week of division 1 finals last year, were one of the teams to benefit from several Big V clubs joining the new Victorian Senior Elite League competition, leaving spots in the Big V’s top division.
Lowery said they jumped at the chance to have another crack at the top grade when approached by Big V.
In the Pacers only season in state champ, they finished bottom and were relegated back to division 1.
Lowery said they would have a different playing roster, which is still to be completed.
Several players have left the club for other clubs, including captain Carly Simons who has joined Wallan Panthers.
He said they would have several new players join the squad, with youth a big factor in the team.
“There’s youth coming through and the imports will come in and help,” he said.
One youngster Lowery is looking forward to seeing in the women’s side is Hailey Wynd.
Wynd, who has been playing with the Pacers youth league women’s side, won the Big V division 2 youth league women’s most valuable player award.
“She’s six foot two and 17-years-old,” Lowery said of Wynd. “It’ll be good for her to play with the imports.”