Sur­prise meal ticket

Ca­sual lunch turns into a mo­men­tous move for Garbin

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMPSON michael. thompson@ news. com. au

LIT­TLE did Darcee Garbin know that a sim­ple lunch catch- up would lead to a seis­mic shift in her WNBL ca­reer.

As re­vealed in yes­ter­day’s Townsville Bulletin, Garbin has signed a two- year ex­ten­sion to her ex­ist­ing deal with the Fire, keep­ing her in Townsville for at least the next four years.

Garbin is a key plank in the Fire’s long- term strat­egy and is seen as the long- term suc­ces­sor to su­per­star for­ward Suzy Batkovic.

“I went out for lunch with ( Fire coach) Clau­dia ( Bras­sard) and I didn’t re­ally know what it was about, and I just thought she wanted to have lunch,” Garbin said.

“But then she says ‘ oh we want to sign you for an­other two years on top of what we’ve al­ready got you for’.

“I was kind of shocked, but I was def­i­nitely keen.

“I guess with Suzy near­ing the end of her ca­reer, hope­fully I can even­tu­ally step into that role of start­ing big and be­come one of the start­ing bigs in the league.”

Garbin, 23, is spend­ing her off­sea­son play­ing with the Townsville Flames in the Queens­land Basketball League, and is also study­ing at James Cook Univer­sity.

“That’s one of the main rea­sons I wanted to say, but I also love not only play­ing basketball in Townsville but the whole place in gen­eral,” Garbin said.

“There’s amaz­ing peo­ple here and the Fire have been amaz­ing to me since I moved up here two years ago.

“So yeah, I’m of­fi­cially a Queens­lan­der.”

The Kal­go­or­lie ju­nior will play for the Emerg­ing Opals at next month’s World Univer­sity Games, and will likely serve as an im­pact player in the Fire’s 2017- 18 sea­son.

Garbin is ea­ger to keep glean­ing as much knowl­edge from Batkovic as she can.

“I’m get­ting as much in­for­ma­tion from her as I can, and also from the likes of Cayla Ge­orge be­cause she’s played in Europe, play­ing the WNBA right now and in the Opals’ pro­gram,” she said.

“So, get­ting as much in­for­ma­tion from them and com­pet­ing against them ev­ery day can only make me bet­ter.”

The Fire will soon an­nounce fur­ther sign­ings and be­gin pre- sea­son train­ing in Septem­ber.

BOOST: Darcee Garbin has ex­tended her Fire con­tract to 2020. Pic­ture: ZAK SIM­MONDS

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