Melbourne’s Ezi Magbegor is the pride of Craigieburn after becoming the latest Australian basketballer to win a WNBA championship.
The 21-year-old completed a dream debut season on Wednesday as Seattle Storm defeated Las
Vegas Aces, 92-59, in Game 3 and became the second youngest player to win a WNBA title behind Erika de Souza who made history with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2002 aged 20.
A 193cm forward, Magbegor will represent Australia at next year’s Tokyo Olympics where the Opals will chase a first-ever gold medal.
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She joins an illustrious group of Australians to win a WNBA championship including Lauren Jackson, Penny Taylor, Erin Phillips and Belinda Snell.
“It’s pretty crazy, amazing. I can’t believe it,’’ Magbegor told the Herald Sun.
“It’s a dream come true, to be able to achieve a championship in my rookie season and be
surrounded by such a great, talented group is really special.”
Magbegor scored two points in her seven minutes on court at the WNBA bubble in Florida.
Her parents Appolus and Patience and siblings Elo, Ovie and AJ cheered on from home.
Ezi Magbegor snatches a rebound. Picture: Ned Dishman/NBAE via GettySource:Supplied
“We’re all very proud of her. It was very emotional; we were all hugging. Seattle sent us a Zoom link and all the families appeared on a big screen after the game,’’ father Appolus said.
“We can’t wait to see Ezi, we miss her so much.”
Jackson, Australia’s greatest ever basketballer, won four championships with Seattle and was thrilled for her protégé.
“I’m so proud of Ezi,’’ she said.
“It was an incredibly arduous season and she stood tall. Ezi’s such an important and exiting piece of the future of our sport and watching her play for Seattle with three of the best players in the world and win a WNBA title, we’re so happy for her.”
Magbegor, a first-round pick in last year’s WNBA draft, turned heads throughout the league in her debut season where she averaged 6.5 points and 2.5 rebounds.
“I’m so glad the season went ahead and I came. I’ve learned so much and taken everything in,’’ she said.
Proud parents Appolus and Patience Magbegor celebrate the win with Ezi. Picture: David CairdSource:News Corp Australia
“Every day at practice has been great for my game, competing against some of the players in the world. I’ve been able to get that insight and grow my game immediately.”
She turned 21 in August with her teammates, including fellow Aussie Sami Whitcomb, ensuring the milestone birthday was memorable.
“We played at 10pm the night before so when we were back in the changerooms it was midnight and everyone wished me a happy birthday. Sami made me waffles for breakfast, Jewel Loyd, Alysha Clark and Sami gave me a paint by numbers of London, because that’s my dream destination, and we spent the night painting that and making S’mores.
“It was pretty special.”
Originally published as‘Crazy’: Aussie rookie’s historic WNBA title win
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