Rice ready to add grit to United line-up

March 24, 2024 BY

Jada Rice in action for Norwood in 2023. Photo: PICTURE IT SPORT PHOTOGRAPHY

GEELONG United has acquired a key piece in its front court, signing six-foot-four centre Jada Rice from Norwood for this year’s NBL1 South season.

A University of Alabama alum, Rice joins Geelong after playing a key role in the NBL1 Central’s Norwood Flames’ championship winning team in 2023.

“There are still some unknowns about when exactly I’ll be arriving in Geelong from Greece, but it will be sometime in April,” Rice said.

“I’m super excited to get going, I really enjoyed playing in Adelaide, so I knew I wanted to make my way back to Australia.

“After a couple good conversations with the coaches, the general manager, I just knew a move to Geelong was the right move for me career-wise.

“The selling point for me was the assurance that I would be able to grow individually and the role I’ll be having on the team.”

Rice, who comes into Jamie Petty’s side on a one-year contract, averaged 8.6 points (shooting at 44.1 per cent from the field), 1.36 assists, and 10.29 rebounds per game for Norwood last season.

However, she turned heads following a 14-point, 21-rebound effort against Southern Tigers in June of last year.

“I’m super excited and grateful to get to be a part of the GUB family this season,” Rice said.

“I’m looking forward to meeting and getting to know everyone! I can’t wait to give my all and see how the upcoming season unfolds.”

Head coach Jamie Petty said he wanted players that were winners, and Rice was one of those players.

“She’s a very talented player and the fact she has a track record of winning at this level is really impressive.

“She’s very mobile, she’s long and athletic, and hard to defend in the paint. So we look forward to her hopefully sending a few shots into the second row.”

Rice joins Sarah Elsworthy, Eve Braslis, Kobe Tehau King-Hawea, and Nyidier Riak on the Geelong United roster this season.