Bendigo Spirit has secured the talent of Carley Ernst for the next two years. Ernst, 24, comes to the WNBL Spirit with a lifetime of experience, which started back when she was 6-years-old. "I love basketball's team environment, the sport itself and the friends you make along the way," Ernst said. One of those friends being Spirit's Tessa Lavey, with the duo first forging a friendship almost a decade ago at the Australian Institute of Sport. And since then, they've played in the WNBL together at both the Perth Lynx and Dandenong Rangers. Ernst has also represented Australia numerous times with the national squad and has played in European leagues. Currently she is playing with the Waverley Falcons in the NBL1, and so far this season is averaging 18 points with 46 per cent shooting, seven rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. With around 17 weeks still remaining until WNBL pre-season tips off, Ernst couldn't be more eager to take to the court with her new team. "I have heard such great things about Bendigo Spirit regarding the coaches, administrators, and of course - the fans," Ernst said. "Everyone tells me that it's Like a big family, and I can't wait to join the family." Spirit will be starting a new chapter, with head coach Tracy York in the top position for her first season and a number of key signings - including Kelly Wilson's return to the team and the appointment of Shyla Heal. "Carley is a player that brings great versatility to our group and has talent in spades," York said. RELATED: New Bendigo Spirit coach Tracy York hoping for quick turnaround Bendigo Stadium's general manager of sport Ben Harvey said York was putting together a fantastic group for the 2019/20 WNBL season. "It's an exciting time for the club but also women's basketball in general," Harvey said. "Carley can flat out score - she has plenty of experience and is a great player and an even better person off the floor. "A massive inclusion for the club and will play a key role on the team." Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.