Maddison Rocci’s heart was always telling her to come back to Canberra.
Thankfully for the UC Caps, the rising star listened.
The 20-year-old guard re-signed with the University of Canberra Capitals for a third consecutive season ahead of WNBL 2019/2020 after coming off contract after the championship success last season.
Rocci had an impressive season with the championship team, claiming the Capital on The Rise award at the UC Capitals presentation which recognises the most promising young talent.
Rocci said it’s an amazing feeling to know that she will be back for another season with the only WNBL club she’s played for.
“I have loved my past two seasons with the UC Caps and I’m so excited for the upcoming season,” Rocci said. “I can’t wait to be able to play in front of our fans again and give back to them in any way I can.
“My heart was always telling me to come back to Canberra. The club is very professional with what they do and after winning the championship, I knew I wanted to look for that back-to-back championship with the team.”
Rocci was a prominent figure coming off the bench for the Caps during the 2018/19 season, with her stats going from strength to strength from the previous year. Coming off the back of a great personal season, Rocci said she doesn’t have any expectations other than to have another successful season with the team.
“I am going to continue to work hard and make sure I’m ready to compete the best I can to help the team achieve our major goal,” she said.
Head coach Paul Goriss lauded her improvement last year and was excited to see the young guard put pen to paper.
“Maddy provided a spark off the bench in the finals series but also her starting minutes and her role she played early on in the season when Lei was coming back from injury cemented her as one of the elite guards in the WNBL,” he said.
“Just having that younger guard that can pressure the ball up the floor and play with speed and just her defensive presence was really key for us.
“Her improvement was so rapid from her rookie season to last year. She put in a tremendous amount of work in the offseason and you could see the fruits of her hard work during the offseason.”
Goriss believes Rocci is capable of becoming a WNBL starter if the club does not re-sign Kelly Wilson or Leilani Mitchell.
“Hopefully we will get answers from Lei and Kelly soon but if not, we have Maddy there who can a play a bigger role,” he said. “She showed she is capable of being a starter.”
Before returning to Canberra for pre-season, Rocci will play in the Queensland Basketball League with the University of Sunshine Coast Rip City which starts April 26.
Rocci is now the sixth player to sign with the UC Capitals, joining Kelsey Griffin, Marianna Tolo, Kia Nurse, Keely Froling and Kristy Wallace.