Dugan keen to dig in for Slammers
Busselton basketballer Tori Dugan is returning to her roots after a strong stint playing college basketball in Canada, suiting up for the Printsync South West Slammers for the upcoming State Basketball League season.
The 20-year-old played five games for the Slammers in their championship year of 2012, but moved to Canada to play for Lakeland College for two years in 2014.
The former WA Country basketballer also represented the Slammers from under-14s to under-18s in the West Australian Basketball League, where her performances stood out and got her picked up by the Alberta-based college.
Dugan will head back to Canada at the end of the SBL season, choosing to use the opportunity of a year off from college to play with former teammates and those she admired as an up-and-coming junior.
“When Peter (Harper) got the coaching job I was given the opportunity to play,” she said.
Dugan has been playing alongside Slammers teammate Kate Fielding in the Bunbury Basketball Association for Aces Navy, where she averaged more than 12 points from 12 games.
The point guard said her experience at college had made her a better player.
“It helped me become a leader,” she said.
“Being a point guard you have to be a coach on the floor.”
Dugan said it was not always easy, with her entrance into the competition in 2014 her toughest task.
“I loved it (playing college basketball), but I started off slow,” she said.
“You train everyday at a high intensity, which I was not used to at the time.”
Dugan describes herself as more of a role-player in her first season at Lakeland, before developing her confidence and scoring ability.
“By my second year I had a bigger role,” she said.
“I went from averaging two points in my first season, to averaging nine points in my second.”
Team success came from consistency for her team, going 22-2 in her first season, before being undefeated in the next season, only to be knocked out in the play-offs.
“I benefited from the style of play,” she said.
“I am an up-tempo player, I like to carry the ball.”
Dugan said she was excited to play with experienced players such as Fielding and fellow college basketballer Courtney Bayliss.
“Having those two, the import (Brittany Hodges) and myself running the ball up, I think we are going to be tough to beat,” she said.
“I want to lead on the floor though.
“Everyone gets along well, I think we are really gelling as a team.”
The Slammers will begin their season on Saturday, March 18, at the Eaton Recreation Centre against the Lakeside Lightning.
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