The JCU Townsville Fire has announced WNBA rising star Natasha Cloud as their first import for the 2016/17 WNBL season.
Having been drafted at number 15 by Washington last year, Cloud is enjoying a stunning sophomore season in the WNBA, averaging more than 20 minutes for the Mystics and starting in 11 of their 13 games.
A lockdown defender, the 24-year-old is averaging 6.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in her second campaign, while controlling the perimeter for the Mystics.
— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) June 12, 2016
Head coach Claudia Brassard said Cloud’s all-round package would complement the Fire’s star-studded back court that includes dual championship winners Micaela Cocks, Kelly Wilson and Mia Murray.
“I’m really pleased with Natasha’s signing,” Brassard said.
“We were looking for a player that could bring us defensive intensity, but after taking a closer look at her game, she’s a smart, athletic player who is also a great passer.
“She’s able to create for others and she offers us some real versatility as she can play anywhere through the one to three.
“She’s getting great minutes in the WNBA at the moment and she should offer a lot to our line-up when she arrives.”
After transferring to St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania, Cloud enjoyed a decorated college career where she was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team in her senior year.
During her junior year, she was also named the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team, Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team, and All-Big 5 First Team.
Having spent last year playing in Turkey, Cloud said she was looking forward to playing in the WNBL with the two-time reigning champions.
“When I talked to coach Claudia I felt instantly comfortable,” Cloud said.
“I liked her vision for the team and how they handle things.
“The Fire has a great tradition and legacy, so I’m excited to be a part of not only the team but the small knit community as well.
“Since I was a kid, Australia has been the place I wanted to visit most and I am beyond excited that I finally get to experience the beautiful country and culture.”
Cloud becomes the Fire’s eight signing for 2016/17 alongside Cocks, Wilson, Murray, Suzy Batkovic, Darcee Garbin, Kayla Standish and Jacqui Zelenka.