A second member of the Heal family is hoping to make it big in the US.
Shyla Heal, the teenage daughter of Australian basketball legend Shane Heal, is heading to the WNBA after Chicago Sky selected her with pick No. 8 in Friday’s (AEST) draft.
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Shane played in the NBA with Minnesota and San Antonio and was by Shyla’s side at The Star in Sydney on Friday morning when the announcement came through she was off to the Windy City.
She joins Opals icons Liz Cambage and Lauren Jackson as the only Aussies to go top-10 in the WNBA draft and will ply her trade Stateside in the most competitive league in the world.
Shyla enjoyed a stellar 2020 season Down Under playing for the Townsville Fire, winning the Youth Player of the Year award to cement her status as one of Australia’s brightest up-and-coming basketball talents.
Her hot streak put the 19-year-old on the radar for national selection ahead of this year’s Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup, and earned her a spot in the All-WNBL Second Team.
Townsville coach Sandy Brondello said late last year: “She is going to be an Opal; it is just a matter of when.
“She has got really good skills and I think she has improved in her playmaking ability.
“Not just being a scorer, but it is also about being a creator and distributor.
“She is on the up and she is only going to get better and better.”
Heal has long been touted for big things after debuting in the WNBL at just 14 and finished last season among the league’s top five scorers, averaging 25.3 points and 7.3 assists per game.
Heal was documenting her day on social media as the WNBA Draft took place, and looked excited as she waited with her family for her name to be called out.