Kelsey Griffin of Eagle River has always enjoyed remarkable individual success as a basketball player. But for some reason, team triumph eluded her until last year when she led the Bendigo Spirit to the WNBL title Australia for her first major championship. It was so much fun she did it again.
Griffin played phenomenally in the final, scoring 28 points, including 4-of-4 on 3-pointers, and grabbing 15 rebounds as Bendigo beat Townsville 94-83 in a rematch of last year’s title game. The 6-foot-2 forward’s totals were better than last year’s championship game when she had 20 points and 11 boards. She also outplayed Aussie hero and reigning league MVP Suzy Batkovic, a three-time Olympic medalist.
Griffin, a Chugiak High graduate, has blown up Down Under and her performance in the title game was a microcosm of her super season. Her 28 points was her second-highest point total in 26 games. It was her fifth game with at least 15 rebounds in a season during which she once scored 20 points and grabbed 19 rebounds.
To top it off, Bendigo won a league-record 24 games. Now Griffin will take a break before preparing for her fifth season with the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.
Van Williams, a 20-year local sports writer and the former sports editor of the Anchorage Daily News, writes about the athletic exploits of Alaskans for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.