Story Courtesy of the Herald Sun (Victoria, Australia)
Former Saint Mary's women's basketball player Louella Tomlinson, 29, has joined the Melbourne Boomers on a one-year deal and will team up with dual Olympian Liz Cambage who inked a lucrative deal with Melbourne last week.
Speaking from Hungary, where she is completing a European campaign with Misckolc, 6-foot, 4-inch Tomlinson said was chomping at the bit to play with Cambage.
“It's going to be really fun playing with Liz. I think one of my best attributes is that I can throw good passes into the post and that's going to be really exciting,'' she said.
“It will be awesome to throw to a target like Liz every game. Whenever I've seen her or watched her play she is such a dominant force and hard to stop and guard.
“I really love playing further from the basket now and playing at the top of the keyway and facing the basket so it's going to be great.”
Tomlinson (2007-11) left Saint Mary's as the program's all-time leading scorer. She was a three-time all-West Coast Conference first team player for the Gaels and was named WCC Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. She tied a then-NCAA record with seven career triple-doubles (points, rebounds, blocks).
Tomlinson has come full circle, her first WNBL taste came 15 years ago at the Boomers thanks to father and legendary Australian basketball coach Ray.
“I grew up wanting to play for the Melbourne Tigers, where my Dad coached and sisters played, but when I was 15 Dad took me down to Bulleen training and Cheryl Chambers was the coach then,'' she said.
“My first WNBL experience was training with that team so I think it's pretty cool that 15 years later I'm going back there.”
Tomlinson played for the West Coast Waves and Perth Lynx for two seasons before heading to Europe last August.
She last played in Melbourne in 2011-12 when she was part of Dandenong Rangers' championship.
“I'm so, so excited. For me it's a bit of a homecoming and my family and loved ones are super happy for me and excited to finally watch me play some basketball in Melbourne and support my team,'' she said.
“Even though the Boomers have struggled on court the last few years I'm most looking forward to the environment. Having played there you notice they've got tons of support, a long and proud history and I think what they're doing at the grassroots level is awesome.”
Boomers coach Guy Molloy said Tomlinson was an important piece of Melbourne's puzzle following the additions of Cambage and London Olympian, WNBA guard and Boomers championship player Jenna O'Hea.
“We signed a couple of superstars in Liz and Jenna and through that whole process Lou was the player I prized as being the perfect connecter between those players,'' he said.
“Liz is coming off the Rio Olympics where she was the leading scorer and back in the WNBL she's going to draw a lot of defensive attention so we can expect she'll be the main focus of many defensive plans.
“So I was looking for my other post player to have a high basketball IQ who could complement Liz so she needed to be able to pass and shoot the ball really well and for me that was Lou because not only do you get those things but she's an excellent defender, a great shot blocker and good rebounder.”
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