SBL: Joondalup Wolves welcome back Kelli Hayward


Kelli Hayward, Rookie of the Year in 1999, is back with the Joondalup Wolves.
Kelli Hayward, Rookie of the Year in 1999, is back with the Joondalup Wolves.

THE Joondalup Wolves have welcomed back former player Kelli Hayward for the women’s State Basketball League season in 2017.

Known for her scoring prowess, the former Perth Lynx basketballer returns from a stint in the Queensland Basketball League.

The 32-year-old was one of the State Basketball League’s brightest prospects as a teenager.

She was named Rookie of The Year in 1999 before earning a spot in the women’s All-Star Team at age 17.

Her signing comes alongside the re-signing of talented trio Shani Amos, Nikita Martin and Ellyce Ironmonger.

The Wolves’ shot at redemption after this year’s men’s and women’s grand final losses begins against the Cockburn Cougars in round 1.

The new concept of Women’s Round will be in week 9, aligning with Mother’s Day on the Sunday.

During this round, the SBL will test the women’s games being played at the later timeslot at each venue after the men’s competition.

“The round is an important initiative to recognise the contribution women make to the game,” SBL general manager Adam Bowler said.

“It’s is about celebrating and promoting women’s basketball, from playing and coaching roles to our volunteers, referees and all the women who work in the game.”

All games over the Easter weekend will be played on a blockbuster Thursday night, with six venues hosting games before the league takes a break for the Easter long weekend.

The Anzac round will again be in week 6, with the Suns and Willetton Tigers continuing their Anzac Day game tradition while being joined this year by the Cockburn Cougars hosting Rockingham Flames on the Tuesday afternoon.

Rivalry round has been added in week 12. The SBL hopes to grow it into an annual tradition where teams will be matched against their rival team.