Brittney Sykes discovered just about all she needed to know about the Canberra Capitals with the click of a button.
"They win, I like that," Canberra's WNBL import said.
But Sykes' research went far beyond a quick glance at Canberra's league-record nine championships. She wanted to know about the club's history, coach Paul Goriss, the imports who had gone before her in the WNBL.
The LA Sparks guard wasn't coming to Australia to tick a box. Sure, there's some novelty in an extra stamp on the passport in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.
The 27-year-old is here to take her game to another level. A defensive player of the year candidate in the WNBA, Sykes stands at 5-foot-9 and boasts a growing highlight reel brimming with blocks from the top shelf.
She anchored one of the best defensive line-ups in the WNBA, with a long wingspan that makes her swat away shots with ease and time intercepts to perfection.
Now she sees a stint in Canberra under two-time championship coach Goriss as the perfect way to add another string to her bow.
Sykes says Goriss' message has been simple: "Defensively just to do what I do, and offensively just to be more confident in taking the three and shooting the ball, scoring and getting out in transition which I love to do. That's my thing."
Oh, and of course, "block shots".
Sykes joins a team perhaps without quite as much of the raw talent as they've boasted in recent years, but with the work ethic and chemistry which suggests they can upset the league's fancied heavyweights.
"I was actually telling [Kelsey Griffin], while I was in the States, they were texting in the group chat and I don't think I've been a part of such a championship-mentality type of calibre team," Sykes said.
"You can tell that through how they were texting and how they were communicating. I look forward to bringing that back to the Sparks, so that's pretty big.
"The team has been great, just welcoming me and talking me through everything. It's been pretty cool, probably the easiest transition. It's never really hard for me to transition with a team and adapt, but it makes it a heck of a lot easier."
Goriss likens Sykes' style to Olivia Epoupa, the ex-Capitals import who won the Rachael Sporn Medal as the most valuable player in the grand final series two seasons ago. But her personality? That fits the bill of league MVP Kia Nurse.
Both emerged as fan favourites during their time in Canberra, and Goriss expects Sykes will follow suit when she graces the National Convention Centre court.
She's already keyed in some match-ups with some imports around the league that she wants to take care of.Paul Goriss on Brittney Sykes
"She's already keyed in some match-ups with some imports around the league that she wants to take care of," Goriss said.
"What drew me to her early on was she wanted to come to Australia, she wanted to play here, she'd done research on the league and spoken to other people who had played out here. She thought this would be a good fit for her.
"She wants to come out and improve her game, and that's something we pride ourselves on, working with players who want to get better. I spoke to her the other day, our thing is we want to send her back a better player to the WNBA.
"Right from the very minute she walked in, she's warmed to the group and the group has warmed to her. She's got that kind of personality that draws people to her, she's light, funny, but when it's time to work, she works. She does remind me of Kia's personality a bit, there's that easygoing bit to them but when she gets on the court, it's time to work."
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