Opals forward Eziyoda Magbegor will look to learn as much as she can this season as the Seattle Storm set out for their fourth WNBA championship.
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SBS Sport

21 Jul 2020 - 2:58 PM  UPDATED 21 Jul 2020 - 2:58 PM

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A 12th overall pick in the 2019 draft, Magbegor arrives on American soil having delayed her debut in favour of an extra season with the Melbourne Boomers. 

Such a decision has since proven fruitful for the 20-year-old, who forwent the collegiate level altogether once the professional path to the WNBL opened up. 

“Ultimately, I think I wanted to get that exposure and be able to play against professionals,” Magbegor said, during a media conference call on Monday (AEST). 

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That experience will bode well for the Storm, with assistant-turned-head coach Gary Kloppenburg quick to praise the rookie’s ability to learn at speed. 

“She’s advanced,” Kloppenburg said. 

“I mean, I know she’s had some really good coaching down there in Australia with Sandy (Brondello) on the national team, and so she’s farther along.  

“I mean, she’s a young player, but, you know, I can imagine if she played in college, she’d be one of the top players. You know, a top-five player coming out of college.” 

Born in New Zealand, Magbegor moved to Melbourne when she was five and is the latest name on a growing list of Australians to take their talents to the United States - one headlined by Storm and Opals legend Lauren Jackson. 

But while the COVID-19 outbreak will force her rookie campaign to look a little different - with the WNBA reducing the regular season to 22 games per team at Florida’s IMG Academy - she remains ready to take the court alongside former MVP Breanna Stewart and club legend Sue Bird. 

The Storm are favourites to reclaim the championship this season and boast a roster both deep with talent and reinvigorated by the return of the aforementioned duo. 

Nevertheless, Magbegor is paying no attention to external expectations, knowing full-well that: “Being in the WNBA is a whole different game.” 

Seattle will tip-off their season against New York Liberty on July 26, before returning three days later for the Minnesota Lynx LIVE, FREE and in HD on SBS VICELAND and On Demand.