FOUR-TIME Olympian Laura Hodges will captain MAC Adelaide Lightning in the WNBL this season, with import playmaker Samantha Logic her deputy.
Hodges, 32, grew up idolising club icon Rachael Sporn but surpassed her this year in Rio when she joined only Lauren Jackson, Kristi Harrower and Sandy Brondello as a four-time Olympian.
Her return from a lucrative career in Europe was a huge boost for dual-championship coach Chris Lucas in his drive to return Adelaide to its South Australian origins.
“I think Laura will be an awesome and wonderful captain,” Lucas said.
“She is a natural leader with a high basketball IQ and tremendous knowledge of the game.
“And she came back to Adelaide with the intention of being part of the process of rebuilding the Lightning program.
“The way Laura presents herself and conducts herself is second-to-none.
“She wants to enjoy playing as well and wants to lead by example.”
Hodges’ deputy will be Logic, 24 next month and the club’s new US point guard who starred at University of Iowa before a WNBA stint.
“One of the reasons I recruited Sam is because of her natural ability to make people around her better,” Lucas said.
“She is an on-court leader and her work ethic in individuals (sessions) is exemplary too.
“She will be the natural extension of me on the court and I’m very confident in our leaders’ ability to show the way for our group.
“The chemistry on this team is as good as any team I’ve coached.”
Lightning open their WNBL season on the road to Bendigo Spirit on Saturday, October 8, backing up in Melbourne against the Boomers the next day.
Lucas will miss the games due to his son’s wedding in Bali, arranged long before the 2016-17 schedule was produced.
Assistants Marcus Wong and Jo Hill will hold the reins in Victoria.
Lucas’ twin goals — to have a team of South Australians for South Australia and to restore the Lightning’s culture — have been well-served by his eagerness to use past champions of the club.
Hill is a four-time Lightning championship-winner while Sporn, the only player to have her singlet number (14) retired by Adelaide, now will head up the club’s “Rachael Sporn Lightning Academy”, training up the next generation of potential SA WNBL players.
Original Article on adelaidenow.com.au
Author: Boti Nagy