The second youngest debutant in WNBL history is staying in Canberra, Tahlia Tupaea has re-signed with the UC Capitals and says she is looking forward to re-discovering the fun in her game.
After last year's shortened WNBL season, the point guard made the decision to play in the NSW Waratah League with Bankstown in the league's offseason to help her find fun in playing again.
The move seems to have paid off, with the 24-year-old leading the league's scoring, and averaging 29 points, eight rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.
"I stayed home in Sydney to get mentally and physically prepared for the upcoming season.
"Playing with some family and friends for Bankstown has definitely helped me have fun playing basketball again, I've also been doing athletic performance classes at a gym which has helped increase my strength," she said.
"With all the disruptions last season with injuries sustained in preseason and towards the back end of the season, I wanted to make sure come back to the Caps fit and ready. I'm excited to be playing a regular season of home and away games - I want to experience that with the Caps."
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She battled injuries throughout last season but still managed to average 4.2 assists per game. She said part of her aim this year was to bring more of a scoring talent to the side, as the Capitals had lost scoring talent Marianna Tolo to the French league.
Following eight years with the Sydney Uni Flames, Tupaea signed with the Capitals last season.
The 36th overall WNBA pick is the fourth player the side has signed, joining Mikaela Ruef, Kelsey Griffin and Kelly Wilson on the roster, with additional signings to be announced in coming weeks.
She said she was excited to team up with WNBL veteran Wilson and head coach Paul Goriss, who coached her to a bronze medal in the U19 FIBA World Championships in 2015, on her return to the club.
Goriss said he was excited to be working with the point guard once again.
"Tahlia showed glimpses of what she can produce in this league whilst we were in the hub so I'm excited for Tahlia to have a full season with us," he said.
"She has been working very hard in the WBL offseason ... so she is in great shape and, I believe, will have a huge impact on our team.
"She can and will be one of the most impactful players on our team at both ends of the court with her passing, IQ, defence and her ability to shoot the ball."