Tully Bevilaqua

Tully Bevilaqua

Tully Bevilaqua (born Tully Louise Crook on July 19, 1972 in Merredin, Western Australia) is an Australian professional women's basketball player. She currently plays for the Indiana Fever in the WNBA. In Australia's WNBL, she plays for the Canberra Capitals, who she helped win the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 championships.

The 5'7" Bevilaqua's play style is energetic and disruptive, so much so that she is usually in the top 10 in steals. In the 2005 regular season, she had more steals per turnover than any other player.

The 07-08 WNBL season will be Bevilaqua's last.

WNBA career

Bevilaqua was never drafted by a WNBA team.

She was signed by the Cleveland Rockers as a free agent before the 1998 season began, but played only 12 regular-season games for them before being waived by the team on July 1998.

In 2000, she signed a free agent contract with the Portland Fire and played with them for three seasons until the franchise folded after the 2002 season.

In 2003, she signed another contract with the Seattle Storm, and played two seasons for them, capping the 2004 season when the Storm won the WNBA Championship, defeating the Connecticut Sun, two games to one.

In 2005, she signed with the Indiana Fever, and led them to a #2 seed in the playoffs, where they swept the New York Liberty in two games, but in turn were swept by the Connecticut Sun in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Despite Bevilaqua's WNBA success, she failed to make the Australian national team until 2006 at the age of 34, when she helped lead the Opals to the gold medal in the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women.

On August 27, 2007, Bevilaqua played a key scoring, defensive, and leadership role in the greatest comeback in WNBA history when the Indiana Fever overcame a 22 point first half deficit to win the deciding game three of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Connecticut Sun. Later that week on August 31, 2007 Tully was awarded the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award from the WNBA.

2004 Championship Season

One of the highlights of Bevilaqua's career was her participation on the 2004 Seattle Storm championship team. In the championship series, the Connecticut Sun won the first game of a three-game series. Then, before sold-out crowds at Seattle's Key Arena, Bevilaqua and the Storm won the second and third games to take the crown as champion. Bevilaqua's role in the series was backup point guard to Sue Bird and Betty Lennox, but she contributed in every phase of the game--scoring, rebounding, and playing the tenacious defense that has become her trademark on the Indiana Fever.

Though listed as a backup guard, in the course of the Storm's 2004 championship run Bevilaqua played unusually long minutes. This was most evident in the second game against the Minnesota Lynx. Sue Bird was injured early in the game, and WNBA Finals MVP Betty Lennox quickly got into foul trouble. Storm coach Anne Donovan sent Bevilaqua in to run the offense, and she played 27 minutes to carry the team to victory. The Seattle crowd chanted her name repeatedly during the game.

Trivia

Her husband, Dirk Bevilaqua, is a former cricket player.

Bevilaqua played Australian rules football as a youth.

Her hobbies include: karaoke singing, golfing, tennis, cricket, and reading Patricia Cornwell's novels.

Dirk and Tully Bevilaqua together own a building products importing company in Perth, Western Australia.

Bevilaqua's height is listed at 5'7" (about 170 cm) in the WNBA but only 164 cm (about 5'4.5") in the WNBL.

Bevilaqua writes a regular column in the Canberra Times on the progress of the Canberra Capitals during the 2006/07 WNBL season.

External links

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