02.10.2008 – Graham Croker

Taking on Adelaide, the reigning WNBL premiers, in the opening match of the 2008-09 Women’s National Basketball League season is the tall order facing Acuvue Sydney University Flames coach Karen Dalton, who is in charge of a team chock-full of young recruits.

To answer the tall order, she called on 193cm Lindsey Pluimer, 22, who has just been released from the Washington Mystics.

Pluimer arrived in Australia on Wednesday and will make her professional basketball debut against Adelaide – in a rematch of the 2007-08 grand final – at Sydney University Sports and Aquatic Centre on Friday night.

The Californian had a 123-game career with UCLA before being signed with the Mystics. But the franchise made a trade in her position before she played a game and she was snapped up by Dalton to start her professional career with the Flames.

Dalton is hoping Pluimer reproduces some of the form she displayed at UCLA during her four years at the University, where she became just the seventh player to tally 1500 or more points.

Pluimer, a communications graduate, also started in 123 consecutive games for the university and last season was the leading scorer (14.1 ppg), rebounder (6.5 rpg), shot blocker (33), three-point shooter (.385) and free throw shooter (.835).

Tip-off for the season opener against Adelaide is 8pm.