Fire sign Academy star


Queensland Country Health Fund Academy graduate Haylee Andrews is poised to become the youngest development player in JCU Townsville Fire history.

Earlier today, the Fire announced the 16-year-old would join the two-time reigning WNBL champions for the 2016/17 season.

Widely regarded as one of the most promising junior players to come through Townsville, Andrews, who was the leading scorer at last year’s Under-16 Australian Junior Championships, joins championship winner Ainsley Walsh as a development player.

“Haylee’s been on our depth chart for a while, and I’ve been keeping a close eye on her progression,” head coach Claudia Brassard said.

“She’s consistently been one of the top performing athletes in her age group for Queensland; she was the top scorer at Under-16 Nationals last year and has made the most of her opportunities on a young Townsville Flames team in the QBL.

“(Mark) Wrobel and I felt she was ready for this next level and this will be an important step in her basketball development.

“Haylee is the youngest development player the Fire have ever had, but she plays well beyond her age.

“She is physically strong enough and skilled enough to take on this role for us and I’m looking forward to watching her develop.”

Having spent the past two seasons in the Queensland Country Health Fund Academy working under the tutelage of Brassard and Wrobel, as well as former Fire stars Aneka Davis and Julia Harris, Andrews has enjoyed a watershed year in the QBL.

The high octane point guard is averaging 10 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game as a sparkplug coming off the bench including a career-high 27 against Gold Coast a fortnight ago.

Andrews said she was thrilled to be contracted to the Fire.

“I’m looking forward to the experience of training and playing with the best players in the nation,” Andrews said.

“My long-term goal is to represent Australia. By training under Claudia and Mark, I have a great opportunity to reach my goal.”

The Fire has two spots to fill on their playing roster with further announcements expected within the next week.

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Image sourced from the Townsville Bulletin.

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