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UC Capitals sign national junior star

Antony Perry

21 June 2017: The University of Canberra Capitals have added Australian under-19s star Maddison Rocci to its 2017/18 WNBL roster.

Rocci has signed a one-year contract with the UC Capitals after two impressive seasons in Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence (COE) program.

The 19-year-old point guard harbours ambitions of playing for the Opals and said the UC Capitals is the club to help her achieve that dream.

“I’ve been working so hard to secure a WNBL contract and I couldn’t be happier to sign with the University of Canberra Capitals,” Rocci said.

“I came to Canberra to chase my goal of playing for Australia and I’m excited to be able to continue my progression and development in the WNBL. I can’t wait to get started.”

Rocci moved to Canberra from Werribee in 2016 to join the national development program at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

She has averaged 14 points and five rebounds a game for the COE in the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) this season.

Her good form was recognised through selection in the Australian Gems squad for next month’s under-19 World Cup in Italy.

Rocci will link up again with UC Capitals head coach Paul Goriss, who has tracked her progress since coaching her briefly at the AIS.

University of Canberra Union Chief Executive Officer Joe Roff hailed the signing, saying Rocci was ready to take the next step in her career.

“Maddi is an up-and-coming point guard and has really developed and improved her game at the COE over the last two years,” Roff said.

“Bringing her in gives us depth at the point guard position. She is a strong on-ball defender and she can also shoot the ball well and is dangerous from the perimeter.”

Roff said Rocci’s development would be supported by working closely with veteran Natalie Hurst, who also recently signed with the UC Capitals.

“Training and playing with players like Natalie Hurst will be a great apprenticeship for Maddi,” he said. “She’ll be learning from one of the best point guards in the game.”

Rocci grew up in Werribee, Victoria and started playing basketball for the Werribee Devils when she was 11.

She represented her state at the national level in various age groups. In 2015, she captained the under-18 Victoria metro team that won a gold medal at the National Junior Championships.

Rocci also played in the SEABL with Geelong Supercats before moving to Canberra.