By Lachy France
Brydens Sydney Uni Flames have added a key piece to their frontcourt rotation for the 2018/19 WNBL season with today’s announcement that the club has signed Alex Bunton.
The 24 year old centre joins Shanae Greaves and Lara McSpadden as frontcourt players on the team’s roster for the coming season.
Bunton is incredibly excited to be joining the Flames for this upcoming WNBL season as the Flames attempt to reach the finals for the fourth time in five seasons.
“Coming back to the WNBL was definitely on my radar for this year coming back from injury and I’m looking forward to joining Coach Chambers and an incredibly talented, young line-up in the pursuit of a WNBL championship,” she said.
The England-born, Australia-raised Bunton joined the WNBL in 2009, debuting for the AIS as a 16 year old. The 196cm centre spent the first three seasons of her career with the Institute before making the cross-town move to the Canberra Capitals for two seasons. Bunton then made the move to Adelaide, playing for the Lightning for a single season before heading to Dandenong for the 2015/16 campaign. After a solid season with the Rangers, Bunton, like many Australian players, made the move to Europe for 2016/17. The centre played alongside Flames stalwart Katie-Rae Ebzery at Dynamo Moscow, competing in both the Russian league and the Eastern European league. Whilst in Russia, Bunton was close to averaging a double-double in the Eastern European competition, picking up 10.7 and 8.7 rebounds per contest. Bunton was also the team’s second-leading rebounder in the Russian league, picking 6.7 boards alongside 7.6 points per game in the domestic league and shooting 44% from the field.
Bunton has also represented Australia at both Under 17 and Under 19 World Championships, finishing seventh in the Under 17 competition in 2010 and reaching the bronze medal playoff before finishing fourth in 2011’s Under 19 competition. More recently, the centre was called up to the Opals squad for 2017’s FIBA Asia Cup, but was forced to pull out at the last minute after succumbing to a knee injury which also prevented her from playing in Poland last season after agreeing to a contract with AZS Gorzow.
Now with that injury behind her, Bunton joins the Flames, bringing plenty of height and pedigree to the team’s frontcourt. Having showcased her abilities in previous seasons, culminating in last year’s national team call-up, Bunton will no doubt be eager to return to that level this season, which in turn will surely benefit the Flames as well. With Shanae Greaves proving to be a valuable member of the Flames’ rotation in recent seasons and Lara McSpadden rapidly improving at SEABL level with the Sydney Uni Sparks in 2018, Bunton’s signing is further evidence that things are gradually coming together for the Flames as the team prepares for 2018/19.
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