Basketball Australia General Manager of WNBL & Competitions Paul Maley has welcomed today’s news of Abby Bishop returning to the UC Capitals for the 2015/16 season.

“This year’s influx of internationally recognised talent means there is no doubt that the WNBL is the second best women’s basketball league in the world,” he said.

Bishop’s return adds to the incredible list of players competing in the upcoming season. Joining her in Canberra is WNBA All-Star point guard, Renee Montgomery, who will compete in the WNBA Finals for the Minnesota Lynx before arriving in Australia.

Australian Jayco Opals guard and two-time WNBA Champion Erin Phillips joins the SEQ Stars, returning to the WNBL for the first time since 2008 while Cayla Francis and Leilani Mitchell will suit up for Townsville Fire and Adelaide Lightning after recently competing in the WNBA playoffs.

“We will also get the chance to see the newest generation of Australian Jayco Opals in Rachel Jarry, Tessa Lavey and Tess Madgen and hopefully the long awaited return from injury of Lauren Jackson,” said Basketball Australia CEO Anthony Moore.

“We have some of the best players in the world, two new teams in the league, a new website, a new ball and we are confident of getting a free-to-air broadcast deal in place for this season,” he said.

“It is time that the WNBL, and our real amazing Aussie women, get the recognition they deserve.”

The WNBL and Basketball Australia have had positive discussions with commercial networks regarding a free-to-air broadcast agreement for the upcoming season. Discussions have included Australian Boomers and Opals coverage along with a featured match of the round for the entire WNBL season as well as finals.

At the same time, a complete re-design of the official website for the WNBL is underway and is on schedule to be unveiled in the week prior to the season-opener.

The clean design will allow users to navigate and sort through statistics from the current season as well as past years, in-depth player lists and player biographies.

Each team homepage will have the most relevant news items available as well as easy access to upcoming games, previous games, ladder standings, social media links and up-to-date photo galleries.

“The new WNBL site has been designed to allow the Australian basketball community to access what they want, when they want,” said Maley.

The 2015/16 season will also see the introduction of a new game ball from Spalding, the world’s leading basketball brand, which is exclusive to the WNBL.

As the newest team in the competition, the SEQ Stars will be coached by ex-Australian Boomer, Shane Heal, while Australian Opals Erin Phillips, Rebecca Allen and Rachel Jarry will lead the team on the court.

The Perth Lynx will also hit the floor for the first time. They will face the Sydney Uni Flames on October 10 with internationally experienced players in Louella Tomlinson and Opals point guard Tessa Lavey present.

The full fixture for the season can be found here.