The Deakin Melbourne Boomers are delighted to announce young New Zealand Tall Ferns forward Kalani Purcell has signed with the club for the next two years.
Purcell, a 22-year old 188cm forward has just completed a successful stint at Brigham Young University (BYU) that saw her win the WCC Defensive Player of the Year, lead her team in rebounds, blocks and assists, while also being named to the WCC First Team.
Added to her strong college numbers, Purcell is a key player for New Zealand’s national team and is touted as one of the Tall Ferns best emerging talents, certain to be see on the international stage for years to come.
In joining the Boomers for at least the next two years, Purcell is looking forward to the opportunity to play with the likes of Liz Cambage and Louella Tomlinson, while also having Lauren Jackson at the club to help her develop and progress her game.
“It is exciting to be part of the Deakin Melbourne Boomers team this coming season,” said Kalani, adding, “ I think for my rookie year I’ve come into a really great team that will be able to help me develop into a better player with experienced teammates and coaching that can help me reach my full potential.”
“I’m looking forward in starting my professional career with the Boomers for the next two years, I’ve heard so much about the Boomers family and can’t wait to meet all the members and supporters,” Kalani added.
With his roster continuing to take shape, Boomers coach Guy Molloy is very pleased with Purcell’s decision to come to Melbourne.
“We identified Kalani some time ago and worked really hard behind the scenes to make contact and put an offer together for her that will provide her with an opportunity to train and play alongside some very talented forwards, while also living every day in a program that will help take her game to the heights we know it can get to,” said Molloy.
“Kalani is an outstanding young lady, she has a real ambition to be the best and reach her goals, all of which fits perfectly with our vision at the Boomers. I have no doubt the Boomers family will enjoy watching Kalani in action, she is a powerful player with the ability to make an impact at both ends of the court.”
The addition of Purcell brings Melbourne’s roster to nine players, along with an additional three development players. Boomers GM Justin Nelson said the focus was now on identifying and contracting one more player, and possibly adding another two development players.
“We are really excited about bringing Kalani to play with Melbourne’s WNBL team, she was hotly pursued by a number of clubs and will be a terrific addition to the Boomers,” said Nelson.
“Our focus now is to try and find the perfect player to fill the position we have remaining. We still have the ability to bring in another import, which we will consider, but at the same time there is plenty of Australian talent we will continue to look at, along with a number of rising younger players here in Melbourne.”