Shelly commits to Geelong United

Jaz Shelley has signed on for Geelong United. (supplied)

Geelong United has announced point guard Jaz Shelley as its first signing.

Shelley joins Geelong after recently being drafted by the Phoenix Mercury in the 2024 WNBA draft with the 29th overall pick.

Shelley is no stranger to Geelong, previously playing for the NBL1 Women’s side during the 2019 season, where she averaged 10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

“It’s kind of a full circle feeling to be back at Geelong,” she said.

“I played here about five years ago just before I went to college, and now one of my first years back in Australia being able to play for Geelong in a WNBL season is pretty incredible.”

With a full college career now behind her, the WNBA draftee has levelled up significantly.

“I think my game has changed a lot,” she said.

“My basketball IQ, ability to read the game and assist my teammates has improved. On the defensive end, I’m much better in that area… I also think consistently shooting the three and at a deep range is something Geelong will see from me now that they didn’t five years ago.

“It was honestly a difficult decision to decide where I wanted to play WNBL. Being away for so long, it was hard to decipher which club would be right.

“Everything kept coming back to Geelong – knowing the people, knowing the organisation, knowing the area was something that really excited me. But also being so close to my family, that was a huge part for me.”

Shelley said she was hoping to help set the tone for the future in Geelong.

“I try to make everyone around me better,” she said.

“I’m a pretty optimistic believer – I want to win, I’m competitive, so that’s something I want to instil when I get to Geelong and be that person who says why not?”