Lara McSpadden plans to use a season with Frankston Blues in NBL1 to "get my groove back".
After a strong 2018-19 campaign with the Sydney University Flames, the Newcastle centre had hoped for more court time this WNBL season.
"The season was good, we did better than last year, which is awesome ... but my season didn't go as I expected," McSpadden told the Newcastle Herald. "I didn't play as much as I wanted to. Coming off a good season last year I thought that I would've been given more opportunity."
The Australian under-17, under-19 and Emerging Opals player was key to Newcastle's championship success in the Waratah Basketball League last year.
But, along with several other high-profile Hunters players, has made the tough decision to leave her home town to play in the NBL1 as NSW will not have an NBL1 competition.
"I loved playing with Newcastle last year but the league is better in NBL1 and if I want to go to the next level and get my groove back I need to go there," the 20-year-old said.
The link to Melbourne side Frankston came through coach Belinda Snell, who McSpadden played with previously and was coached by in the now defunct South East Australian Basketball League.
Pre-season training began this week with Frankston's first game on April 19.
"I just want to get my confidence back and enjoy playing and prove I deserve to be where I am," McSpadden said.
The Hunters have also lost Cassidy McLean (Bendigo Braves), Alison Ebzery (Townsville) and Hannah Young (Sunshine Coast) to NBL1 sides.
It will be a new-look Hunters women's team taking the court on Saturday when they open their title defence against Penrith at Newcastle Basketball Stadium.
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