Bundaberg Bears basketball coach Dean Page hopes the recruitment of players such as American import Yvonne Turner will boost his side’s on-court fortunes in the QBL.
Bundaberg Bears basketball coach Dean Page hopes the recruitment of players such as American import Yvonne Turner will boost his side’s on-court fortunes in the QBL. Scottie Simmonds

A new Page for Bears

BUNDABERG Bears will take to the courts of WIN Stadium in tomorrow’s clash against Gold Coast Rollers with three new high-profile players.

New Bears coach Dean Page will be in command of a vastly different arsenal than he had in the opening round of the Queensland Basketball League competition.

American import Yvonne Turner will return to the Bears fray after competing in the German national league during the Australian off-season and will be joined by new American college basketball recruits Stacey Howard and Alice Honnery.

The Australian-born college basketballers are expected to add considerable muscle to the Bears outfit having finished seasons with Alabama College and University of Mobile respectively.

Page said it would be a completely different team that runs on against Rollers in tomorrow’s clash.

“This is going to boost the team substantially,” he said.

“They’re a talented bunch and I know they’re rearing to go and make their mark on the season.”

Turner was the Bear’s highest point scorer last season with an average of 22 points a game.

Honnery stands at 188cm and is expected to boost the inside presence of the team and increase its scoring opportunities.

The hard-running Howard will slot into a guard forward position.

Page has come out of a three-year coaching retirement to take the helm of the team.

The experienced Queensland Basketball League coach said he expected 2011 to be a big year for the Bears.

He only began with the team three weeks ago but said after a late start, the season ahead was beginning to look promising.

“We’ve had a bit of a slow beginning but we’re starting to look very good,” he said.

“The girls showed they were capable of playing very good basketball last week and now it’s a matter of building on those foundations and ironing out a few flaws.”

The match will be played as a curtain-raiser to the Bundaberg Bulls match against Gold Coast Rollers.

Coach Adam Curran said his team was feeling confident after a pleasing week in training.

“It’s going to be a tough game but the guys are ready for it and they’re keen to get out there and show what they can do,” he said

The Bundaberg Bears will play Gold Coast Rollers at WIN Stadium at noon tomorrow.

The Bundaberg Bulls will play at 2pm.