The fledgling AFLW has landed itself a fairly massive coup, with its best and most-visible player Erin Phillips announce her retirement from US professional basketball in order to re-commit with the Adelaide Crows and focus on football.

Phillips was quite sensationally dumped by her WNBA side the Dallas Wings on the eve of the new season, despite serving as a team captain for the side last year.

The decision to cut Phillips left her basketball career in jeopardy, leaving her to consider navigating the perils of basketball free agency in the hopes that a side developed a sudden need for the dual-sport gun.

Instead, Phillips announced her retirement from the league and today has officially re-committed to the side she co-captained to a historic inaugural AFLW Premiership.

Phillips issued a statement confirming her intentions to return to the South Australian club through the Crows’ website earlier today:

“Last season was truly a dream come true, so to be able to stay at Adelaide is fantastic. I really couldn’t imagine playing with any other team. Having grown up in a sporting family watching Dad play football, it’s definitely always been something I wanted to do, so I was extremely grateful to have that opportunity and I can’t wait to pull the boots on again.”

“With my retirement from playing in the WNBA, I’m looking forward to giving my body a rest and spending time with my family in Dallas before returning to Australia refreshed and ready to take on the second season of the AFLW.”

“Right from the outset, I was blown away by how professional and committed the Crows are to women’s football. It’s a really positive environment at the Club with a great playing group and that’s certainly something I am looking forward to continuing to be a part of.”

Phillips’ decision today comes on the heels of a blistering, record-breaking inaugural AFLW season that saw her take out the AFLW League MVP, the Grand Final MVP, Goal of the Year, and All-Australian individual honours – a feat no other person, male or female, has ever achieved in a single season.

In addition to her on-field duties with the Crows, Phillips will also take up a high performance coaching role with the AFL, which will see her working with the country’s top junior footballers.

Phillips will also accept a position with the Dallas Wings as the franchise’s Director of Player & Franchise Development.

She will remain in Dallas to assist the Wings before returning to Australia with her family later in the year to commence her work with the AFL.

Source: Adelaide Crows.

Photo: Michael Dodge, AFL Media/Getty.