The Bendigo Bank Spirit has re-signed starting guard Kerryn Harrington for the 2016-17 Women’s National Basketball League season.
Harrington, a former Australian under 19 representative, returned to Bendigo prior to last season and enjoyed the best of her eight seasons in the national competition.
The 24-year-old averaged seven points and 1.79 assists, both WNBL career highs.
Her 20 steals was also a career high, nearly doubling her former best output the previous season when playing for the Adelaide Lightning.
Harrington’s signing is the first to be announced by the Spirit, who finished the season in sixth position with a 12-12 record.
The winner of Simon Pritchard’s coach’s award last season, Harrington said she had no hesitation in recommitting to the Spirit.
“Bendigo is my home. I grew up here and to play WNBL here really is a dream come true,” she said.
“Simon’s program brought out my best and I had my most rewarding season of basketball ever.
“The team, and the club, is moving in the right direction. I have seen that first hand and I had no hesitation in signing up for what will be an exciting year.”
Harrington scored a WNBL career high 18 points against Adelaide during December.
She previously had stints at the AIS and Bulleen, now Melbourne Boomers.
Spirit coach Simon Pritchard said he couldn’t have been more impressed with Harrington’s first season with the Spirit.
“There aren’t too many more determined players in the WNBL,” he said.
“I gave Kez a job each week, and each week she delivered.
“I am extremely happy she has agreed to play again next season.”
Harrington is spending the 2016 South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) season with the Ballarat Rush, but has been sidelined throughout the first three weeks with a broken hand.
Pritchard said the Spirit was in to the second year of a rebuilding phase and was looking towards the future.
“Our aim is to build both the team and the club at the same time,” Pritchard said.
“We have a committed to being here in the long term and we have made some tough decisions off the court to ensure that happens.
“We are realistic about what we can offer players compared to other clubs, but one thing we can offer more of than most other clubs is determination.”
That was evidenced in wins against top four clubs the Townsville Fire (twice), Perth Lynx (twice), Dandenong Rangers and South East Queensland Stars.
“Our program is strong and very well respected, and on the court and off the court we are focused on fighting hard, and what better player to showcase that than Kerryn Harrington,” he said.
More player signings are expected in the next few weeks.