New York Liberty’s Rebecca Allen joins a strong Australian squad that will seek to build on its third-place finish in Spain next month.
Rebecca Allen is going from the New York Liberty back to a Land Down Under.
The New York guard, who recently completed her fourth WNBA season, has been named to the Australian national squad, representing her homeland at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, set to be held next month in Spain.
“I’m excited for this year,” said Allen in a team-released statement. “I’m glad that I have this opportunity.”
Allen played in 28 games off the bench for the Liberty this season, averaging 3.8 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. Her best performance came on August 12 against Atlanta, tallying a season-high 16 points and four rebounds.
Allen, 25, has previous experience with the Australian women’s national team, nicknamed the Opals. In the previous edition of the World Cup, held in 2014 in Turkey, the Opals finished undefeated in group play and eventually earned the bronze medal, defeating a Canada squad featuring Allen’s future New York teammate Kia Nurse in the third-place game.
— WNBA (@WNBA) August 9, 2018
Other WNBA representing Australia will include All-Star and MVP Liz Cambage of the Dallas Wings, who put up a WNBA-record 53 points in a game against the Liberty last July, as well as former Liberty star Leilani Mitchell, currently of the Phoenix Mercury.
Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello got a chance to see Allen in action on Sunday, as the Liberty closed out their season at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Mercury prevailed 96-85, but Allen closed the year out with 15 points, two rebounds and two steals.
“Bec is a scorer but her length can create issues on defense as well,” said Brondello, whose Mercury will take on the Connecticut Sun in Thursday’s WNBA quarterfinal playoffs (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) in the statement. “”Our focus will be making sure we are ready to play at our best each and every game.”
In addition to her Liberty service, Allen, a Victoria native, has also spent time with several Australian squads, including the Dandenong Rangers and Melbourne Boomers of the WNBL.
Set to be held in Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup will begin on September 22. The Opals, settled in Group B, will open against Nigeria to start things off, followed by matchups with Argentina and Turkey.