WNBL: Canberra Capitals sign marquee player Kelsey GriffinCaden Helmers
Published: March 8 2018 - 10:10PM
Marquee recruit Kelsey Griffin has joined the Canberra Capitals because it is time to "put the Caps back on the map".
The 30-year-old Australian Opals star has signed a two year deal with the Capitals in a bid to help the club snap a seven-year finals drought.
The prospect of joining the Capitals crept into Griffin's mind when she was undergoing rehabilitation on a hamstring injury almost a year ago, and now she is coach Paul Goriss' trump card in his recruitment drive.
The two-time WNBL championship winner and former WNBA No. 3 draft pick has been on Goriss' radar for some time and she has become the second player on Canberra's books alongside 21-year-old Lauren Scherf.
Griffin joined Canberra a day after being named in the Opals squad for the Commonwealth Games alongside outgoing Capitals rising star Eziyoda Magbegor.
The star forward will bring an inside presence to Goriss' outfit and fill the void left by Magbegor and departing guard Abbey Wehrung.
"I'm 30, I still think some of my best basketball is yet to come," Griffin said.
"When I made this decision to come here it was about really trying to become fully professional again and really put myself in the best position possible to try to make Tokyo in 2020 as well as hopefully put the Caps back on the map.
"I had to back that decision and I don't think that will change regardless of who joins the team, but in saying that I hope we get some amazing players that I get to share some awesome memories with along the way."
Goriss says he has someone to build a team around in Griffin after she averaged 16.8 points per game in six matches for Bendigo last season.
The Capitals mentor admits "that was one of the key parts I don't think we had last year" and with Griffin's experience comes a winning mentality vital for a side fighting its way back to title contention.
Goriss wants to shun the player merry-go-round the Capitals have been stuck on in recent years and build a squad that sticks together with an eye on a championship.
"All along I have said we've got to have some consistency in our playing group and we've definitely got that with Kelsey signing for two years, she gives us some stability for recruiting as well," Goriss said.
"The time is now that we've got to start building and getting our roster right to try and crack into the top four and give ourselves the best opportunity to place ourselves in that top four to win a championship.
"I'm just happy that we don't have to scout and play against her anymore."
Griffin will head to the United States in May for a training camp with the Connecticut Sun, before returning to Canberra for pre-season training in September.
This story was found at: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/sport/act-sport/wnbl-canberra-capitals-sign-marquee-player-kelsey-griffin-20180307-h0x6kn.html