While a lack of bodies ended Wagga Blaze’s season, it also gave rise to a potential star of the future.
Jessica Sommerfield, 17, made a stunning senior division one debut for the shorthanded Blaze last month, scoring 15 points and helping force a series of game-changing transition baskets.
A mix between shooting guard and small forward, the Narrandera teenager has looked at home in the big league ever since, taking full advantage of the opportunity.
She is averaging an impressive 10.7 points per game, third behind prolific scorers Jordan Barrett and Maddi Clyne.
Sommerfield, who played under Blaze coach Peter O’Leary in Narrandera, said having a familiar coach in Wagga had made the transition a smooth one.
“I didn’t know many of the girls when I came here, so it really helped to have a coach I knew and who’d been very encouraging and supportive,” she said.
“Now that I’m part of the team I’m just stoked to have the opportunity to play.”
O’Leary said his newest senior player had blossomed into a deadly offensive weapon.
“One of her biggest attributes is her ability to shoot the ball from all over,” he said.
“She’s also fantastic in transition with the ability to use to use both hands at a high level.”
The Blaze will round of the season when it meets Bathurst at Bathurst Indoor Sports Stadium on July 22.