Toowoomba Mountaineers imports for the 2013 QBL season (from left) Kisha Lee, Bill McDonough, James Legan and Chelsie Schweers hit the court at Water St Stadium.
Toowoomba Mountaineers imports for the 2013 QBL season (from left) Kisha Lee, Bill McDonough, James Legan and Chelsie Schweers hit the court at Water St Stadium. Nev Madsen

Mountaineers imports ready for big QBL season

EVEN at a towering 205cm, Toowoomba Mountaineers import Bill McDonough says he's not used to being one of the tallest players in his team.

But the New Jersey native will add some much-needed height to the Mountaineers line-up for the 2013 QBL season.

McDonough was scouted by the club after a standout performance for the PSM Seattle All Stars against Toowoomba in March.

McDonough said he'd been impressed by the energy at the Mountaineers since his arrival.

"There's a lot of enthusiasm with the young kids," he said.

"James (Legan) is coming back for his third season and says this is probably the best pre-season he's seen so that's uplifting."

McDonough admitted the Mountaineers don't boast the biggest side but he was confident they would be competitive.

"We're small definitely ... but a lack of height doesn't mean too much," he said.

"A couple of guys are playing out of position but it just makes you run more, get some shots up. I think we'll be all right."

Things are also looking up for the Mountaineers women with the addition of prolific point-scorer Chelsie Schweers.

Schweers finished college at Christopher Newport University in Virginia as the all-time leading scorer.

And she's had an immediate impact in Toowoomba, helping the team to back-to-back trial victories alongside the returning Kisha Lee last weekend.

Schweers said she was already getting on famously with her Mountaineers teammates.

"They're really nice to me, they're hilarious," she said.

"They like to hear me talk because I have an American accent but they say it's a little different, so they mess with me with that but they're really funny."

Schweers said there was a real excitement within the team about what they could achieve in 2013.

"The girls are pretty excited and we've had some good practices so it's starting to come around," she said.

"I'm very excited about the season. I know we've struggled a little bit in the past but I think we're ready to turn it around."

Meanwhile, James Legan says there was never any doubt he would return for another season with the Mountaineers.

Legan has spent the past few months back home in Houston, Texas and only arrived back in the Garden City three weeks ago.

The star import said his time away was refreshing and he was as focused as ever for his third QBL campaign in Toowoomba.

"They say the third time is a charm," Legan said.

"I feel like I went home and I got refocused on a lot of things ... it feels good to be back in the fold."

Legan said he'd fielded offers from other Australian teams but he wanted to remain loyal to the Mountaineers.

"These people have shown me love since day one ... I feel like I've made the right decision," he said.

Women's import Kisha Lee echoed Legan's sentiments, saying she wants to help the team build on the success of last season.

The Mountaineers snapped a three-year losing streak in 2012 and the arrival of Lee was a key factor in that breakthrough.

Lee also spent the off-season back home in her native Chicago but said she was excited to be playing in Toowoomba again.

"It's just a great atmosphere. I was looking forward to coming back to continue from the success that we had last year," she said.

"The team had its first win in three years last year so I just wanted to be part of continuous growth of the program."

The Mountaineers will open their seasons on Saturday, May 11, against the Brisbane Capitals at Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre.

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