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WNBA player Griffin of Eagle River signs up for another season in Australia

Van WilliamsAlaska Sports Hall of Fame

Just two weeks before the start of the WNBA season, Eagle River basketball player Kelsey Griffin solidified her spot in Australia by re-signing with the Bendigo Spirit.

The 6-foot-2 forward, who was a state champion at Chugiak High before becoming an all-American at Nebraska, won grand final MVP honors last year after leading Bendigo to the league championship over Townsville.

She averaged 16.5 points in 19 games in Australia.

“She could have played anywhere in the world, but she loves it in Bendigo and wants to play with the Spirit again,” coach Bernie Harrower told the Bendigo Advertiser. “Kelsey is a quality player. It was important that we kept her.”

Griffin is entering her fourth professional season.

The former No. 3 draft pick has played 99 career games in the WNBA with the Connecticut Sun, scoring 369 points and grabbing 354 rebounds.

Griffin is a win-first player, willing to do whatever it takes. In the WNBA, she is a defense-minded role player. In Australia, the 25-year-old is a double-double scoring and rebounding threat.

“Professional basketball is so much statistics,” Harrower said. “But when you have an international player who is so talented but cares more about the team than her own numbers, it’s very special.

“Kelsey rebounds, plays great defense, works hard and is really positive influence around the team. We couldn’t have been happier with Kelsey and we’re looking forward to her playing an even more prominent role.”

Van Williams, a 20-year local sports writer and the former sports editor of the Anchorage Daily News, blogs on the accomplishments of Alaska athletes for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. He can be reached at alaskasportshall@yahoo.com. Used with permission.