CYCLONE LARA: Teenager Lara Napier was one of the Cyclones’ success stories in 2009 and is now playing her basketball with the AIS in the national competition.
CYCLONE LARA: Teenager Lara Napier was one of the Cyclones’ success stories in 2009 and is now playing her basketball with the AIS in the national competition.

Impulsive Lara gets her shot

SOMETIMES it pays to act on an impulse.

That is what star Cyclone Lara Napier did and now the news just keeps getting better for her.

Last month the diminutive guard followed up on a great season with the Rockhampton Hog's Breath Cafe Cyclones in the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) getting snapped up by Women's National Basketball League (WNBL) team, Logan Thunder, as a development player.

General manager of Logan Thunder Mark Dalton said he had agreed with his Rockhampton counterpart, Jamie Boon, to take Napier, who is still only 18, for a month or two or an amateur contract.

Dalton was expecting Napier to make her way down to Logan in her own time to join the squad, but when the club came to Rockhampton for some development work he was in for a shock.

“She said 'I'll come back on the bus with you guys',” he reported.

She didn't stop long at Logan as the Australian Institute of Sport had injuries in their WNBL squad and asked clubs to submit names of suitable replacements. Again Napier fitted the criteria and after two weeks at Logan she was on the way to Canberra.

“She was on the plane the next day,” Dalton said.

Days after arriving at the AIS, Napier had her first game in the WNBL team against - the Thunder, of course.

“She went okay, scored a few points.”

At this stage Napier will remain with the AIS until December.

“She is a smart young girl, and while she is down there (Canberra) she will get all the right training and tutoring,” Dalton said.

“But she's on loan and when she returns will train as a part of our WNBL squad.”

The link between Thunder and Rockhampton was forged between Dalton and Rockhampton Basketball operations manager Jamie Boon.

“Part of our commitment to the WNBL comes with the responsibility to promote the game,” Dalton said.

“I've had a close relationship with Rockhampton Basketball for the last 10 years.

“As a part of our agreement we take a development player.

“Last year Jamie said there was no one, but this time he suggested Lara.”



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