The Brydens Sydney Uni Flames are pleased to announce the return of Tahlia Tupaea for the next two Wattle Valley WNBL seasons.

Tahlia has experience and talent beyond her years and continues to shine on the highest Australian stage. She is one of the most exciting young prospects in the WNBL having already amassed 53 WNBL games with the club despite only being 17 years old.

Tupaea, a Penrith Junior and product of the Flames Academy program, was the second youngest player to debut in the Women’s National Basketball League when she started playing in the 2012/13 season at the age of fifteen. She represents the next generation of stars for the Flames.

This season Tupaea played consistent minutes off the bench, offering a spark for the team with her smart and confident offensive attack and her ability to hit crucial shots as well as being one of the team’s leading defenders. Her outstanding performance this year was acknowledged with her being awarded the Most Improved Player at the Flames Presentation Night held only a couple of weeks ago.

Head Coach Shannon Seebohm believes at such a young age, Tahlia has a bright future ahead of her and is thrilled to have her in the squad. “I am extremely excited that we have been able to resign Tahlia for the next two seasons. Tahlia is a player we will build around in years to come and I am confident she is going to keep getting better and better as her role continues to expand.” Seebohm said.

Tupaea has also flourished on the international stage, having already represented Australia twice at junior level. She was a member of the 2013 FIBA under 19 World Championship bronze medal winning team as well as the under 17 National team in 2014. She is a strong contender and will be looking to represent Australia for the third consecutive year at the under 19 World Championships to be held in Russia this year.

Tahlia was humble in her reflection on the season, “This year was a great season with the Flames with excellent results for the team. I was happy with my form and played some good minutes which helped me to develop my game. I’m so excited to have signed again with the Flames and can’t wait for the next season to begin!” Said Tupaea.

After having such an impressive year, the club are very excited to have secured a player of Tupaea’s calibre to keep the core group consistent and build toward the 2015/16 season.