Snook's Barnes excited to get pro career started 'down under'

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -- Snook basketball standout Shakera Barnes signed a professional basketball contract back in January and Monday began the 10,000 mile journey from Burleson County to Queensland, Australia.

Shakera will begin play with the Wagga Wagga Blaze of the Queensland Basketball league later on this month.

The purpose of traveling to Australia to to improve her basketball skills, but while down under she plans on doing some exploring.

"The two main places I want to go is Melbourne, because they have the best food I heard and the best concerts so I plan to go there sometime and then Sydney is where the beaches are," said Shakera Barnes.

"That is where I will land, so I will get to see that right off the bat when I get there. Also the Harbor which is part of the capital of Australia. They say that is a pretty cool place to go. A lot of water as well. So I'm planning on going to those three, but there is a lot of museums that I want to visit as well," ended Barnes.

Shakera hopes to eventually play in the WNBA.


The Wagga Blaze have signed an American duo which they believe will return the team to championship contention and boost the profile of women’s basketball in the region.

The Blaze have secured the services of US point guard Shakera Barnes and powerful forward Khiani Clark, the youthful combination recently finishing up at St Edward's University in Austin, Texas.

Barnes averaged 13.8 points and 4.4 assists in her junior season, while Clark put up 12.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest.

The Blaze are expecting Barnes’ ball handling and court vision to provide a significant boost, along with Clark’s strength, size and rebounding.

Wagga Basketball senior representative director Darren Kuiper said he expected the pair to have an instant impact on the court.

"Being college teammates they will play off each other really well too," he said.

“I’ve spoken to both of them and they’re really excited about coming here.”

The Blaze were first in touch solely with Barnes, but as point guard wasn’t the primary position they needed to fill, a deal wasn’t reached straight away.

But when Clark unexpectedly contacted team management soon after, the Blaze couldn’t resist bringing both players over.

Kuiper said the imports’ enthusiasm in assisting with the promotion of girls’ basketball in the community helped to seal the deal.

“While it’s always great to push for a championship run, we were making sure there was interest there in terms of developing women’s basketball in and around Wagga,” he said.

“That’s been really lacking for many, many years.”