Liana Leota is to return to the Thunder fold with Jamaican international Marvadene Anderson joining the squad for 2017.
Readthe full Thunder press relese below:
Silver Fern Leota will act as player-coach while Sunshine Girl Anderson will slot in at shooter.
Wing attack specialist Leota, whose debut season with the Black and Yellows was hampered by injury, will bring vital experience to the Thunder squad.
Anderson, who stands at an incredible 6ft 11.5 inches and was once the tallest teenager in the world, is included in the Jamaica tour squad to play England in the winter international test series.
Thunder coach Karen Greig is excited to have ‘world class Leota’ back on court next season.
“Liana more than proved in the few games she played last season that she is still a world class player,” said Greig who has now named eight members of her first Superleague squad.
“Liana has the respect of the players and coaching team and I’m excited to see how she links with the youth around her.
“She is working hard to be back at her very best where when fit and powerful she has the ability to destroy any defence with her ability to make things just look ‘easy’.”
Signing a top shooter became a priority for Greig and Thunder over the summer, following the departures of England stars Helen Housby to the NSW Swifts in Australia and Ellie Cardwell to new Superleague franchise Severn Stars.
And Greig feels Anderson, who is known as ‘Bubbles’, fits the bill perfectly, having successfully made the code switch from basketball.
Greig added: “I have done a lot of work over the summer to secure an import shooter that has the ability to change our game and have huge impact and I believe Marvadene will be more than able to do this.
“ I have done lots of research on her and observed some video of her playing in the WNBA in America, she has the ability to move and shoot accurately from range.
“Welcome to the Thunder Family Marvadene.“
The 23-year-old is looking forward to life in the city and has family in Manchester and Greig will have the opportunity to see her import play on the international stage in December.
Both Liana and Marvadene’s signings are subject to final visa approval.
Leota and Anderson join Kathryn Turner, Gabriella Marshall, Kerry Almond, Bea Skingsley, Amy Clinton and Emma Dovey in a new-look 2017 Thunder squad.
The remainder of the team will be announced in the coming days.