Aussies Abroad: Brondello to coach WNBA, Baristow fires for Lobos

Aussies Abroad: Brondello to coach WNBA, Baristow fires for Lobos

Jayco Australian Opals and WNBL legend Sandy Brondello has been named the Head Coach of the Phoenix Mercury, her second stint in the top role in the WNBA.

Brondello, a three-time Olympian, takes over at the Mercury after spending the past three seasons as an Assistant Coach at the Los Angeles Sparks.

One of the greats of the Australian game, Brondello forged a stellar WNBL career, winning the 1995 WNBL MVP and was a two-time WNBL All-Star Five selection (1994 and 1995), playing 193 games. The talented shooting guard also went on to make a name for herself  overseas, winning the 1996 Euroleague title with BTV
Wuppertal in a decade-long stay that would garner 10 league titles.

The WNBA would become the home for Brondello, joining the league in 1998 and playing in the first WNBA All-Star Game in 1999, going on to play until the end of the 2004 season.

On the international stage, Brondello was a staple in the Opals program, playing at four Olympic Games and four FIBA World Championships, representing Australia a remarkable 302 times.

Post playing days, Brondello served as an Assistant Coach at the San Antonio Silver Stars from 2005 to 2009 before taking the Head Coach reins in 2010. Brondello briefly returned to the WNBL as the Assistant Coach for the Logan Thunder between 2010 and 2012.

Daniel Kickert (13 points) and his Azovash continue their winning start to the VTB League season, accounting for Russian team Khimky 85-57.

A monster game from Jayco Australian Opal Cayla Francis (22 points and 6 rebounds) has inspired Nantes to just their second win of the season in French LFB action, defeating Angers 84-65.

Fellow Opal Marianna Tolo had 7 points and 4 rebounds in Bourges Baskets’ 68-59 win over Charleville. The win ensures Bourges remain top of the French standings, with an unbeaten 8-0 record.

Louella Tomlinson had 12 points and 5 rebounds as Hungarian team PINKK-Pecsi claimed a 69-63 win over Wallonia Basket in Women’s EuroCup action last week.

A career-high 29 points from Australian Boomers big man Cameron Bairstow gave New Mexico a convincing 109-93 win over Charleston Southern University in another big weekend of college hoops.

Bairstow backed up his season-opening 22 points and 11 rebounds, with 29 points on 9-of-13 shooting and 11-of-16 from the line to go with 5 rebounds.

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Venky Jois had 9 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists for Eastern Washington, but it wasn’t enough as the Washington Huskies prevailed in the battle of the in-state rivals 92-80 on Sunday.

Australian trio Anthony Drmic, Igor Hadizomerovic and Nick Duncan helped the Boise State Broncos to a dominating 110-53 win over Simpson University to continue their impressive start to the college season.

Coming off a 34-point game to opening the season, Drmic had 16 points and 5 steals, while Hadziomerovic had 9 points and 7 steals. It was Duncan who enjoyed a breakout performance, posting 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc in just his second game.

Dexter Kernich-Drew posted 15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals as the Washington State Cougars easily accounted for Lamar University 84-64 on Sunday.

Vanessa Panousis continues to impress at Virginia Tech, with the young guard commanding the starting position and leading the team to an 87-49 victory over Bucknall to improve their record to 4-0.

Alex Sheedy had 14 points as the Fresno State Bulldogs claimed a 68-57 win over Cal State Fullerton to improve their record to 2-1, while Kate Gaze had 10 points as the Saint Mary’s Gaels overcome Butler in overtime 90-86.

Australian Boomers star Matthew Dellavedova played 31 minutes and had 6 rebounds and 2 steals as the Cleveland Cavaliers claimed a tough overtime win over the Washington Wizards 103-96 on Sunday.

It was another big numbers game from Andrew Bogut, with the centre posting 12 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks in 30 minutes as the Golden State Warriors overcome the Utah Jazz 102-88 on Sunday.

For all the latest news on the Australian stars playing abroad be sure to visit the BA website at