Griffin victorious in return to court at Commonwealth Games

April 6, 2018

Kelsey Griffin basketball

Kelsey Griffin

Eagle River’s Kelsey Griffin returned to the court in style, helping the Australia women’s national team steamroll the Republic of Mozambique 113-53 in the opening round of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games down under.

The 6-foot-2 veteran forward had been sidelined for the last few months as she recovered from hip surgery, so her return was a welcome site for the Opals.

The 2017 FIBA Asia Cup MVP collected six points, nine rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot in 19 minutes of action.

Griffin, of Chugiak High fame, has become a stable down under since becoming an Australian citizen in 2015.

The former University of Nebraska All-American led the Opals to the Asia Cup final last summer and delivered a 30-point, 15-rebound performance in the final, a 74-73 loss to Japan.

The 30-year-old all-star led the tournament in field-goal percentage [.617] and was fifth in scoring [15.8] and third in rebounding [8.2].

She’s also a former MVP in Australia’s WNBL, where she led the Bendigo Spirit to two league championships and three appearances in the finals.

This spring she made big news when she left Bendigo and signed with rival club Canberra Capitals.

“Kelsey is a legend of this club in every sense of the word, and always will be,” Spirit coach Simon Pritchard told the Bendigo Advertiser. “We will certainly miss her contributions both on and off the court.

“She has done a lot to develop this club on and off the court, and there is a generation of players coming through who have benefited from her professionalism, leadership and influence.”