Southside Flyers superstar point guard Leilani Mitchell has led her team to victory in this season’s Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) Championship in Townsville.
Mitchell also took home the Rachael Sporn Medal as Grand Final MVP for the win against Townsville Fire.
The WNBL season, like the AFL season, hosted teams in the Townsville hub where they successfully completed a condensed season.
The Southside Flyers team from the south east suburbs of Melbourne were runners up last season losing the championship to Canberra Capitals in 3 games.
The Flyers recruited Australia’s premier centre in Liz Cambage who proved to be just the tonic they needed to go one better this season.
AFL Women’s (AFLW) star Monique Conti also switched to the Flyers from cross town rivals Melbourne Boomers.
MVP Mitchell was born in Richland, Washington. Her father is American and her mother is a descendent from the Wuthathi people of Shelburne Bay Cape York Peninsula, North Queensland.
Now 35-years-old Mitchell’s basketball journey was and still is one to watch.
She is a member of the Opals, the Australian women’s national basketball team and was drafted 25th overall by the Phoenix Mercury in the 2008 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) draft.
In 2019 Mitchell became the first WNBA player to win the Most Improved Player Award twice.
In 11 seasons in the WNBA Mitchell has played with 3 teams. Phoenix Mercury, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics, with her best season being in 2019 where she averaged 4 assists and 12.8 points per game.
Mitchell’s WNBL career spans across 5 teams with Dandenong Rangers, Sydney Uni Flames (Championship), Adelaide Lightning, Canberra Capitals (Championship) and Southside Flyers (Championship)
Just some of her career stats include
• 3× WNBL champion (2017, 2019, 2020)
• 2x WNBL Grand Final Most Valuable Player (2017, 2020)
• 3× WNBL All-Star Five (2014, 2016, 2017)
Mitchell is regarded by all who follow the WNBL as one of the best and most skilled basketballers in the league.
She has proven to be a big time player after winning the 2017 WNBL Grand Final MVP and again this season scoring 31 points and MVP performance this year during Southside’s Championship win.