SCORING POWER: Tabatha Richardson-Smith, joins Cassie Rochel and Kayla Kiriau to add different dimensions to the Gladstone Port City Power team.
SCORING POWER: Tabatha Richardson-Smith, joins Cassie Rochel and Kayla Kiriau to add different dimensions to the Gladstone Port City Power team.

BREAKING: Power's new inside presents well for year

BASKETBALL: Gladstone Port City Power women's team have received a huge boost ahead of the Queensland Basketball League season against Mackay on April 29.

The club has signed three key players who will provide scoring and rebounding power as well as ability to defend.

Cassie Rochel, Tabatha Richardson-Smith and Kayla Kiriau are currently playing in various overseas competitions, but will arrive to their new club two weeks before the start of the QBL season.

 

 

Power coach Ray Cooper is excited about the prospects the star trio will bring on the court.

"Cassie moves very well for someone her size and she is known for her rebounding," Cooper said.

Rochel, 25, stands at 194cm tall and is currently playing for Vasas Akademia in the Hungary-A Division league where she is averaging 10 points and rebounds per match.

"I was looking through agencies and saw some of her highlights and liked what I saw," Cooper said.

"She's going to make other teams alter their shots and her presence will be huge for us."

Rochel was named Miss Basketball in Minnesota in high school and has since forged a successful professional career where she played with Wisconsin.

During the 2015-16 season, Rochel played in the Romanian top league with Phoenix Galati and averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds.

"I was first approached about Gladstone Port City Power by my agent Jason Ronsley," Rochel said.

"I think being that I've been playing for 20 years and for three different countries that I can bring a good amount of experience to the team this year as well and I also look forward to learning from this team as well.  

"I know that Australia possesses one of the best top-level leagues when it comes to women's basketball and I look forward to coming to check out the competition."

Richardson-Smith is a 23-year-old 183cm forward-guard who's strength lies beyond the three-point arc.

 

 

She played college basketball for Seton Hall University (SHU) and currently is playing with Espoo United in Finland.

She is averaging 11 points and 10 rebounds.

"She can play in a multiple of positions and can post up if need be," Cooper said.

She also was considered by San Antonio Stars in the 2016 WNBA draft, but was among 50 unlucky prospects.

Richardson-Smith ranks atop for SHU for points scored and triples made was one of just two players in the conference to rank among top five in scoring and rebounding during the 2015-16 season.

Kiriau is another who will add versatility to the team and she is an athletic 173cm guard who played for Capital Flyers in the Women's Basketball Championships competition in New Zealand.

 

 

The 23-year-old averaged 13 points and nine boards and previously she played in the US college basketball system for Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

"She can do a bit of everything and loves to play defence," Cooper said.

THE BIG THREE

CASSIE ROCHEL

Position: Forward-centre

TABATHA RICHARDSON-SMITH

Position: Forward-guard

KAYLA KIRIAU

Position: Guard



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