May 18, 2018 | Townsville Fire news

Fire secure Casey Samuels for title defence

The JCU Townsville Fire have unveiled former under-19 Australian representative Casey Samuels as their latest signing for the 2018/19 WNBL season.

With more than 100 WNBL games to her name, the 23-year-old, who has previously spent stints at the AIS, Canberra and Sydney, has spent the past two years with the Swans Academy in the AFL.

Despite her cross-code switch, Samuels was a star in the Waratah Basketball League last season as she averaged 22.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists for Bankstown and said she was looking forward to returning to the nation’s premier basketball competition.

“I am excited to be a part of the WNBL again and I am grateful for the opportunity Claudia (Brassard) has given me for the up-coming season,” Samuels said.

“Townsville has established themselves as a strong and supportive team who play well together and I am really looking forward to be a part of that.”

During the 2015/16 WNBL season, Samuels was a starter for the Sydney Uni Flames and averaged 6.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

A prolific three-point shooter, Samuels is expected to provide the Fire with flexibility on the perimeter as they mount their title defence.

“We’re looking forward to having Casey join our program,” Brassard said.

“One of the hallmarks of our program has been re-energising the careers of a number of players who have gone on to become championship winners with the Fire.

“She’s a great three-point shooter, but she’s also able to spend time in the post and plays on the edge which I like.

“It wasn’t that long ago that she was being spoken about as an Opal-in-waiting and we would like to return her to that conversation.”

Samuels is the eighth player to be announced for the 2018/19 season joining Tess Madgen, along with championship heroes Zitina Aokuso, Suzy Batkovic, Micaela Cocks, Mikhaela Donnelly, Darcee Garbin and Laurin Mincy.