Griffin Leads Australia to Commonwealth Gold
Former Nebraska All-American Kelsey Griffin powered the Australian National Team to a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games on Saturday in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
The 6-2 forward from Eagle River, Alaska, who was a first-team All-American for the Huskers in 2010, scored a game-high 16 points while adding eight rebounds, three assists and two steals in her second career tournament appearance with the Opals. Griffin's dominant all-around game led Australia to a 99-55 victory over England in the championship game at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
With Griffin leading the way, the Opals went 5-0 to claim gold including a 109-50 victory over New Zealand in the semifinals. Griffin notched 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals in just 18 minutes in the semifinal win.
In five tournament games, Griffin averaged 11.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.4 steals in just over 18 minutes per game, while the Opals won by an average margin of 108-55.
Griffin, who became an Australian citizen in November of 2015 while also playing professionally in the WNBL for the Bendigo Spirit, made her first appearance for the Opals in the summer of 2017 at the Asia Cup, where she led Australia to a silver medal while earning tournament MVP honors. In the Asia Cup gold medal game, Griffin erupted for 30 points, 15 rebounds, three blocks and two steals against Japan, but the Opals fell 74-73. The performance by the Opals at the Asia Cup secured them a spot at the 2018 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
Since then, Griffin played her final season in Bendigo in 2017 while undergoing hip surgery. Her appearance at the Commonwealth Games was her first major test after extensive rehabilitation for the injury. It also served as the next step before she returns to the United States for WNBA Training Camp with the Connecticut Sun.
Griffin is set to open camp with the Sun on April 29. She played her first four professional seasons in the WNBA with the Sun from 2010 to 2013, playing in 133 games with 61 starts. She was a member of the 2010 WNBA All-Rookie Team. The Sun play their first preseason game against the LA Sparks at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., on May 7.
Griffin, who led Bendigo to two WNBL titles in 2013 and 2014, winning championship MVP honors both seasons, also signed an offseason contract to continue her WNBL career in 2018-19 with the Canberra Capitals - the same team former Husker All-American Jordan Hooper played for in 2017-18.
Griffin played alongside Opal teammate Nicole Seekamp at the Commonwealth Games. Seekamp was a star collegiately for current Nebraska Head Coach Amy Williams at South Dakota. Seekamp played in all five wins for her native Australia at the Games, averaging 4.8 points and 2.6 assists per contest.