JCU Townsville Fire forward Kayla Standish has vacated her import position for the club after being granted permanent residency earlier today.
As a result, the Fire will debut former University of San Diego star, Amy Kame, on Sunday alongside WNBA guard Natasha Cloud as the club’s two restricted players.
Having submitted her permanent residency application in 2014, Standish faced a nervous wait ahead of the WNBL season commencing, and with the paperwork not yet processed, the Fire had no other choice but to sit out Kame at the weekend.
Following today’s good news, however, the two-time reigning WNBL champions are poised to unleash Kame into their star-studded back court after registering a 22-point win over Perth on Sunday.
“I’m really happy,” Standish said.
“It’s been a long process and I’m very glad that Amy is allowed to play and that it’s all good and that I can stay in the country indefinitely.
“I just told Clint (Steindel) that he is stuck with me – he can’t get rid of me now – it’s really great and I’m really pleased that it is all over and done with.
“Obviously the club, the Fire, has done a lot to help me out with the process and I’m very thankful that we were able to push it forward and I’m just really pleased.”
With Standish’s residency application unresolved before the start of the season, the Fire took a calculated gamble when they recruited Kame, knowing they may have had to have sat out one of their Americans if it was not processed in time.
While that eventuated at the weekend, the six-foot guard/forward will make her debut in round two against the Adelaide Lightning at Townsville Stadium.
“I’m really excited,” Kame said.
“I didn’t want to get my hopes up but when the news came through now – as you guys just saw – we were pretty excited about it.
“This weekend just watching the game – I mean obviously the girls played amazing and it was a great experience, great atmosphere – but I’ll just be excited to be able to get out there and be able to help.”
The Fire host the Chris Lucas-led Lightning from 1pm on Sunday at Townsville Stadium.
Click here to pre-purchase tickets to the Fire’s home game against Adelaide.