By Lance Jenkinson
Wyndham Devils have spent the summer exchanging stars ahead of their Big V Basketball women’s state championship title defence.
The Devils will have a largely new-look starting five after three of their top performers from last season decided to move on to higher leagues.
Title-winning players Alexyz Vaioletama, Alisia Jenkins and Sarah Elsworthy has all departed to higher leagues. D
evils coach Reece Potter is pleased for the trio to further their basketball careers.
He is also pleased that he has been able to replace them with similarly strong players.
“It’s good to see those players come through our program and go up another step,” he said. “
The thing I’ve been excited about is we’ve lost some players to NBL 1 level looking to step up, but we’ve been able to recruit some back and show that our club and our program is a worthy program to come into. “We’ve recruited a pretty strong group.”
The newest signing for Wyndham Devils is Emilee Harmon, though of all the new recruits, she has probably been at the club the longest.
Harmon has worked as a basketball development office with the Devils in recent months, but only just committed to playing with the club.
“It seemed like the right fit that if she was going to be working here to play here,” Potter said.
“She’ll be a great role model for the young players in our community.”
Harmon was an NBL 1 All Star last year and has played division 1 college with Ohio State University.
She is expected to provide a presence inside the paint.
“She’s a tough competitor,” Potter said. “She’s that really effective and efficient player around the basket.
“Very skilful, tough rebounder, tough defender, very honest competitor.
“She can play that four, five role.”
Ebony Rolph is a player with WNBL experience with Bendigo and will also have an impact on the inside. The plan is for Rolph to form a formidable front court combination with Harmon.
“She’s going to add a lot on both ends of the floor,” Potter said.
“A really bouncy athlete who will get rebounds, block shots and change shots.
“I’m really excited to see what she can do for us.”
Wyndham Devils have bolstered their small forward position with the addition of Ieva Nagy.
Nagy, a former Adelaide Lightning player, is coming back from a knee injury, but still have big expectations on her shoulders.
“She adds something different in that wing position, a bit of versatility, a really good mid-range game, a pull up jump shot with a high release,” Potter said.
“She’ll be that extra piece that will hopefully makes us competitive and contend again.”