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Hannah and her (Lightning) sisters

THE sudden and tragic loss of guard/forward and WNBL championship-winner Natalie Novosel has thrown outstanding guard Hannah Kaser an overdue elite-level career lifeline at Adelaide Lightning.

When Novosel recently suffered her third ACL tear while on the WNBL comeback trail, Lightning needed a player with a comparable skillset.

With the club's second import spot beside Breanna Turner going to an as-yet-to-be-announced "big", Adelaide coach Chris Lucas scoured the country looking for the right replacement.

He found Kaser, a 178cm guard and arguably the best basketball player to come out of Leongatha, 135 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, population a shade over 5,000.

Kaser's journey as a State junior led her to the AIS in Canberra, onto an Australian 3X3 rep team, and a college career in the US at St Mary's College in California (below).

With the Gaels, Kaser teamed with Lightning stalwart Lauren Nicholson and Townsville Fire and Canberra Caps guard Kate Gaze.

"I've had my eye on Hannah for a couple of years," Lucas said.

"Given the unfortunate circumstances for Nat Novosel, we decided to give her the opportunity.

"She is a terrific hustle player defensively, is a good rebounding guard and she shoots the threeball at 40 percent. Loz (Nicholson) has been a teammate of hers and couldn't speak more highly of her.

"I think we've landed on our feet."

Kaser, 26, is coming off a Waratah League season with Canberra Nationals in which she averaged 14.5 points at 38 percent, 6.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists, while shooting 3-pointers at 40 percent.

In the 2018 SEABL season with Sandringham Sabres, Kaser averaged 10.9 points at 37 percent, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

She joins Lightning's all-Aussie backcourt of Nicole Seekamp, Nicholson, Natalie Hurst, Stephanie Talbot and Sarah Elsworthy, with the frontcourt currently comprised of import Turner, Chelsea Brook, Laura Hodges, and a second import to come.

Aug 13

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