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Olympian Phillips joins AFL women's league

AAP logoAAP 13/09/2016

Olympic basketballer Erin Phillips will play for the Adelaide Crows' women's AFL team in a major coup for the new league.

Phillips, who plays for the Dallas Wings in the WNBA and was part of the silver medal-winning Opals at the Beijing Olympics, will play in the inaugural eight-team competition next year before returning to the United States in 2017 to resume her basketball career.

The 31-year-old will follow in the footsteps of her father, SANFL and VFL player Greg Phillips, and says playing in the competition will allow her to fulfil a lifelong dream.

Phillips was approached before the Rio Olympics by Crows football chief David Noble and made her final decision upon returning to the US and holding talks with Dallas Wings officials.

"The more I thought about it and the more I spoke with the Adelaide football club ... I couldn't knock it back," she told FiveAA Radio.

"I'm looking forward to being part of something really special with a great club."

Noble said Phillips would join the Crows' women's rookie list and would also take on a part-time media and development role with the club.

"Erin has a real toughness and brings years of experience as a professional athlete at the highest level," he said.

"She has true leadership qualities and I have no doubt she will immediately have a positive influence on our team."

Phillips is the league's latest cross-code recruit, following former Matildas goalkeeper Brianna Davey and cricketer Jess Cameron.

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