“Not on YouTube anymore”: Jade Melbourne on the WNBA, WNBL, and Opals ambitions

Rising Star Jade Melbourne’s Unforgettable WNBA Rookie Season

Jade Melbourne had her very own Wizard of Oz moment when she realized she wasn’t in Canberra anymore. The basketball young gun from Traralgon, Victoria, was adjusting to life on the other side of the planet in the league she had dreamt of playing in, the WNBA. Hailing from the Centre of Excellence and the WNBL’s UC Capitals, Melbourne’s transition to the United States was bright, vibrant, and like something out of a movie.

Her first practice match drew a huge crowd, the biggest she had ever played in front of. She found herself guarding basketball legends like Diana Taurasi and Courtney Vandersloot, live on the court when she was so used to watching them on YouTube. And then there was the grocery store, where she longed for her favorite Aussie snacks.

Melbourne’s rookie WNBA season with the Seattle Storm was an incredible learning experience. As the youngest player in the WNBA at just 21 years old, she embraced the challenge of playing at the highest level and absorbing every moment like a sponge. She brought this newfound knowledge back with her to the WNBL, looking to elevate her game and make a meaningful impact with the Canberra Capitals.

Now a co-captain with the Capitals, Melbourne aims to share her WNBA experience with her teammates and help propel the team to success. With her sights set on representing Australia at the Olympics in 2024, Melbourne’s meteoric rise in the basketball world is just beginning.

If her journey continues on this trajectory, the possibilities for Melbourne in the coming years are as endless as the rainbow.


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