Draft shock: Australian basketballer selected at pick No.43

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RICHMOND has taken 27-year-old Australian basketballer, Tessa Lavey, with selection No.43 overall (29 Victorian) at the 2020 NAB AFL Women’s Draft.

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Lavey, a 172cm point guard, and Commonwealth Games gold medallist has been working closely with Richmond Women’s specialist coach Nathan Chapman on her football fundamentals and has impressed Tigers recruiters in recent months.

The former Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder became available for the upcoming AFLW season after the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and likelihood of a condensed 2020/21 WNBL season.

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"Tessa is a strong powerful athlete with great potential. We are very excited to have her on board," Richmond Women’s recruiter Lauren Tesoriero said.

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Lavey who hails from Swan Hill is renowned for her energy, leadership and work rate. She was the inaugural captain of the Perth Lynx before returning to Victoria to play with Dandenong Rangers.

The cross-coder will become part of a growing contingent of Richmond players from Swan Hill, which sits within the club’s Next Generation Academy zone, with new teammate Alana Woodward and AFL youngster Thomson Dow also from the area.