Australian basketball’s brightest stars land at the Flames

Chyra Evans and Katie Deeble have begun training with the Flames ahead of the WNBL season start.

Sydney Flames development players

A burning desire to better their game has seen two of Australian basketball’s brightest stars land at the Brydens Sydney Uni Flames.

Chyra Evans and Katie Deeble have begun training with the Flames ahead of the WNBL season start after completing their two-year stint with Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra. 

Flames coach Shane Heal’s signing of the two young prospects continued the organisation’s commitment to the future of Australian basketball. 

“My vision for the Flames is to build success, not buy it. We want to invest in teaching young players the culture, work ethic and system we believe helps deliver long term success,” he said. 

“This is the reason we recruited both Chyra and Katie out of the COE. I have no doubt they are both future stars of the WNBL and potential Opals in the long term.  

“The club has supported the vision and helped provide these opportunities for both players to have amateur contracts and learn what it takes to be a pro in one of the toughest woman’s leagues in the world.  

“Both players have declared their choice of college but who knows how long that’s for. I believe both ladies will play for the Flames in the future and I’m excited help them both work hard and develop so they can live out their basketball dreams.” 

Deeble, a sharp-shooting guard who hails from Queensland, has committed to Wake Forest in North Carolina for the US college season starting mid next year. 

Evans, a versatile forward out of Newcastle whose family have already bought their Flames memberships ready for the season, is headed to Michigan. 

Both players are looking to soak up the learnings under coach Heal and the Flames. 

“It’s a different level of physicality and athletic ability which I think has been good for us and I’m really looking forward to it,” Evans said. 

“The game style is different than we are used to, but I knew of a lot of the girls before I got here and knew they were really good girls, so the atmosphere and culture that they’ve created here is really good.”  

Deeble, who will learn from some of international basketball’s best guards such as Lauren Mansfield, Chelsea Dungee, Steph Watts and Shyla Heal, said she was ready to soak in the experience. 

“Every training has been challenging and we go in knowing we’re going to learn a lot,” she said. 

“I’m loving training against all the other guards. They’ve got so much more experience so I’m looking forward to learning and getting much better.”

Evans and Deeble played key roles in the Gems’ silver medal performance at the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup campaign in Hungary in August. 

The Flames launch basketball back in the Hoops Capital, kicking off a massive double header at Qudos Bank Arena on December 5 with the Brydens Lawyers Sydney Kings. 

The Flames will take on the might of arch rival the UC Capitals from 12.30 pm.

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