The Bendigo Spirit are delighted to announce the signing of rising New Zealand star Esra McGoldrick for the 2023-24 Women’s National Basketball League season.
The athletic 23-year-old forward is coming off an excellent FIBA Asia Cup campaign for the Tall Ferns, averaging 5.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
McGoldrick is currently playing for Mainland Pouākai in New Zealand’s Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa competition, dropping nearly 15 points per game to go with 8.4 rebounds.
“I’m excited to see the new team, the new coaches and be amongst some really great players,” McGoldrick said.
“Hearing about what they players have accomplished and where they’ve played, it’s just awesome to be able to have teammates like that and be a part of a group that’s so experienced.
McGoldrick said the WNBL was always a league she wanted to be a part of.
“When I was younger hearing about the WNBL, I knew it was definitely a league I wanted to be a part of one day so it’s really cool that it’s actually my time now,” she said.
“I’ve been patient and took in a few different paths, I went to college for a bit before playing at home and for the Tall Ferns.”
Spirit coach Kennedy Kereama was particularly excited about McGoldrick’s versatility.
“She’s exciting because she’s an incredible athlete,” Kereama said.
“She’s 6’2”, long, can shoot the ball, can handle the ball, can get on the rim, can defend, can block shots, can rebound.
“She can do absolutely everything, and she’s not limited to the typical 6’2” prototype.
“I literally have no fears in terms of her capacity to defend a point guard or defending a four or even a slightly undersized five.
“She’s coming off a great Asia Cup with the New Zealand national team and I think that experience has probably put her in a situation that she became a desirable recruit for our program.
“She wants to work hard, wants to get better, and that’s certainly the type of people we’ve tried to recruit to our program this year.”
Bendigo Spirit’s General Manager Of Operations David Ingham said a player of McGoldrick’s calibre was hard to find.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Esra to our program,” Ingham said.
“Long, athletic players that can play multiple positions are hard to find, Esra has displayed those qualities at the international league, we are excited about bringing her to the Bendigo Spirit and the WNBL.”
The Spirit’s regular-season campaign kicks off against Townsville Fire at Red Energy Arena on November 4.