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Perth Lynx crossing fingers that Sami Whitcomb could return for WNBL season, reveals coach Ryan Petrik

Perth Lynx coach Ryan Petrik is crossing his fingers that superstar Sami Whitcomb will be allowed to play for the club this season, despite being contracted to play in France.

Whitcomb signed to play for ESBVA-LM in May but returned home to Perth after captaining Australia to a bronze medal at the Asia Cup in October and is still living in WA despite the French season starting two months ago.

A dual WNBA champion at Seattle Storm and key member of New York Liberty’s starting five, Whitcomb hasn’t played for the Lynx since the 2017/18 season when they finished on top of the ladder.

She signed to play last season, but opted out of joining the WNBL hub in Queensland to be with her wife Kate following the birth of their son Nash.

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The Lynx have one spot remaining on their roster and Petrik told thewest.com.au’s The Dribble Podcast the club had been involved in daily conversations for months seeing if she could stay in Perth and play.

“We’ve known about this for a long while now and have kept it really quiet,” Petrik told The Dribble Podcast.

“People have started finding out about it in the last three or four weeks. People have been letting me know, and that is terrific, but we’ve known about it for a while.

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“If it plays out and Sam doesn’t go to France and stays, clearly we would love to talk to her. But right now, she is a French player and we need to leave it at that until that time changes.”

Camera IconSami Whitcomb hasn’t played for the Perth Lynx since 2018 but the club is hopeful that will change. Credit: unknown/Supplied by subject

Signing Whitcomb would be an extraordinary coup given the strength of the current squad.

The Lynx already have two WNBA imports with Marina Mabrey and Jackie Young set to form a potent combination.

Perth also have three of Whitcomb’s Australian Opals teammates from the Asia Cup – Darcee Garbin, Alex Sharp and Lauren Scherf.

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Perth were scheduled to start their season on Thursday night but WA’s border restrictions have forced the WNBL to make major fixture changes and the Lynx now won’t play until January.

Petrik has organised three practice matches against the state’s best young talent to give his team the best opportunity to prepare.

Listen to the full The Dribble podcast episode as Petrik discusses:

  • How the Lynx will handle their delayed start to the season
  • What imports Marina Mabrey and Jackie Young will add to the squad
  • Why recruiting Lauren Scherf will give the Lynx a new dimension
  • How good can Alex Sharp become after dominating NBL1 West and representing Australia.

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