New Zealand international Chevannah Paalvast will return to the JCU Townsville Fire after signing a new one-year deal.
Having secured a championship during her maiden season in the WNBL, the 24-year-old, who has spent the off-season with the Tall Ferns attempting to qualify for the Rio Olympics, will return to the Fire looking to establish herself as one of the competition’s premier lock-down defenders.
During limited minutes for the Fire last season, Paalvast showed glimpses of her international form that has seen her secure a place in the starting line-up for New Zealand and has carried that through to the QBL where she is averaging 15.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists for Townsville Flames.
“I’m extremely happy to have signed with the Fire once again,” Paalvast said.
“It’s great to be back playing with some amazing teammates and coaches and to be able to stay in this community.
“It’s a great place to play basketball,” added the former Waitakere player.
Having proven herself in the international arena in recent months – and last year’s Oceania Championships – head coach Claudia Brassard said she was hopeful of Paalvast taken on a greater role for the Fire in her sophomore season.
“Chevy is a very hard working player who commits herself to our team and our culture by giving 100 per cent,” Brassard said.
“She is an aggressive and athletic defender that can provide immediate impact in the game.
“She had a solid off-season with the New Zealand team and hopefully she keeps building on from there.”
Fellow Tall Fern Micaela Cocks has also committed to a further year with the AWNBL champions.
The Fire have one remaining contracted position for 2016/17 with an announcement expected in the near future.
JCU Townsville Fire Squad: Haylee Andrews (development player), Suzy Batkovic, Micaela Cocks, Darcee Garbin, Mia Murray, Chevannah Paalvast, Mia Murray, Kayla Standish, Ainsley Walsh (development player), Kelly Wilson and Jacqui Zelenka.