In a week that New Zealand basketball news has been dominated by the rise and rise of Corey Webster another Kiwi player has received some excellent news. Tall Fern Chevannah Paalvast has secured a contract to play for Townsville Fire in the upcoming Australian WNBL season. Paalvast will join fellow Kiwi international Micaela Cocks on the roster of the defending champions.
Paalvast was one of the major movers in the recent Tall Ferns campaign.
Uncapped prior to the international season the former Massey High School standout moved up the standings within the squad and by the time the FIBA Oceania series against Australia rolled around she was one of coach Kennedy Kereama ‘Go To’ players.
One person impressed with the 24 year old’s athleticism and strong work ethic not to mention a fair helping of skill was Tall Ferns assistant coach Chris Lucas. The Australian is also head coach of the Fire and he invited Paalvast to attend pre season training with his squad following the international season.
It didn’t take long for Lucas to decide that Paalvast would be an asset to the Fire.
“Chevy’s a long and athletic guard who compliments our playing line-up. She’s defensively very good and we think she’ll play a significant role in our team. She’s certainly got all the tools to be a WNBL calibre player” said Lucas.
Paalvast spent 5 years at Monmouth University, New Jersey and graduated in 2014. In her senior year she averaged 13.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game and became just the 17th player to score over 1,000 points for Monmouth.
Chevannah is delighted with the opportunity presented to her.
“It’s an amazing opportunity, something I have been working towards ever since I left college. It’s awesome to be able to play with and against the best players in Australia and even some of the best players in the world. I look forward to learning from Chris and the team and further progressing my game.”
The Townsville squad is stacked with talent and in addition to Cocks; Paalvast will be playing alongside two other Olympians.
Centre Suzy Batkovich is likely heading to her third Olympics with the Australian Opals and forward Tamara Tatham attended the 2014 Games with the Canadian national team.
Surrounded by that type of quality you can’t help but think that Paalvast’s game will flourish – good news for Kereama and the Tall Ferns.