Opal signs with Geelong United

Australian Opal Keely Froling will join Geelong United this season. (supplied)

An Australian Opal has committed to Geelong for its inaugural WNBL season.

Keely Froling, a 188cm forward, started her WNBL journey in 2011 in her home town of Townsville and will join United after another run with the Australian Women’s National Team after the Paris Olympics.

“It’s special I think to be a part of that first side,” Froling said.

“Obviously I enjoyed my time in Melbourne last year with Chris (Lucas), and I think we’ll recruit some really good players and good people.”

Head coach Chris Lucas was a key factor in Froling’s decision to sign on with the team, as he’s someone who has been part of her WNBL career for many years.

“I played under Chris last year in Melbourne and many years ago in Townsville,” Froling said.

“I think we have a great relationship and I work well under him, so I’m excited to have another season with Chris and hopefully win a championship for Geelong.”

Lucas shares the excitement.

“I’m really pleased to have Keely on board,” he said.

“Signing her was a no brainer – she was the first player I contacted. The standards of the program need to be set in the first year and she will lead by example with the bar she sets for herself and her teammates. It really puts us in a great position for our first year.”

Froling said she is looking forward to the prospect of starting from scratch.

“We now get to establish those really good core values early,” she said.

“It’s about building a really great franchise that is known as one of the best in Australia, we do everything right, we play hard and showcase great basketball.

“I want to be a massive part of the community, and have us be role models for kids coming up through Geelong United Basketball. Regional teams for me have always been the most special ones that I’ve played for because you do have that connection with the community.

“I’ve been to Geelong a few times and always appreciated the NBL1 teams and their support, and the lifestyle there in summer, I’m really looking forward to that.”