Australian Opals star Abby Bishop.
Australian Opals star Abby Bishop. File

Opals star returns

THE Rockhampton Hog’s Breath Cafe Cyclones are set to shine once again in 2010 with the return of Australian Opal Abby Bishop.

Rockhampton Basketball Incorporated (RBI) yesterday announced the major signing of Bishop for next year’s Queensland Basketball League (QBL).

The 21-year-old forward/centre will suit-up for her second straight season at Hegvold Stadium following an impressive debut in the QBL this year which was cut short by injury.

Bishop was named in the QBL’s All Star team and also shot her way to Women’s Youth Player of the Year honours.

Speaking from Christmas celebrations in Darwin, the Canberra Capitals WNBL star and Australian Opals young gun is looking forward to her return to Rockhampton.

“I am really excited about returning to Rockhampton for the QBL next year – it will give me the opportunity to finish off what we set out to achieve last season,” she said.

“The sponsors, fans and town were so supportive of us last season so the decision to return was an easy one to make.

“Next year’s World Championships and the Opals are a real focus for me, however, in order for me to make that team I need to be in an organisation that can provide me with the opportunity to do all the things I need to personally do to make the team. Obviously the Cyclones provide that and I can gauge my continued improvement on a weekly basis. “Rocky has some really good young girls who are on the cusp of becoming legitimate players in the QBL and I am excited to be part of the process in furthering their development.”

RBI operations manager Jamie Boon said Bishop’s signing was a massive boost to the Cyclones program which would name its coach in the New Year.

“It seems Christmas has come early for Rockhampton Basketball with Abby signing with the Cyclones for 2010 season,” he said.

“Abby was one of the most dominant players in the league in 2009 and to have her return is a real shot in the arm for our program.

“Abby averaged 28 points, 14 rebounds at 55% from the field last season before injury cut short her year. Back from injury for three games with the Canberra Capitals and she is already performing at the same level she was at when she was named WNBL All Star for the 2008-2009 season.

“We expect Abby to play a larger role in our organisation even though she will also be focused on making the Australian Opals side that look to defend the World Championship in the latter stages of 2010.

“Abby is a proven performer.”

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