Former Arizona post Cate Reese was not done playing basketball. She said that at every opportunity during her fifth and final season as a Wildcat. Now, she is on her way to the first stop in her professional career.
Reese’s agent, OJ Castano of 4FrontSports, announced on Instagram Saturday night that she is on her way Australia to play for the Gold Coast Rollers of the NBL1.
The NBL1 is a relatively new league that includes conferences for both men and women. It was created in 2019 to take the place of the South East Australian Basketball League. In the ensuing years, it has expanded to five conferences for women and five conferences for men, becoming the second-level league in Australia.
Reese had hopes of being drafted into the WNBA in early April. While playing in the NBL1 isn’t as financially rewarding as the WNBA, it still pays fairly well for a few months' work. In 2019, the NBL1 women’s teams paid an average of $54,000 AUSD a year to its players. That’s the equivalent of just over $36,145 in US dollars. While seven clubs averaged less than $50,000 per year, six averaged between $50,000 and $75,000 and three more had an average salary of over $75,000 per year. WNBA rookies make in the neighborhood of $70,000 USD per year depending on their draft slots.
The NBL1 plays a schedule similar to the WNBA with games during the northern hemisphere’s summer (and Australia’s winter) followed by playoffs in September. It would allow Reese to start playing immediately then pursue a roster spot in another league during the fall and winter if she chose.
NBL1 games are streamed by the home teams.