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.
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.