The Australian Gems that will be heading to Suva, Fiji in December for the FIBA Oceania U18 Championships have been confirmed.
The group includes FIBA U17 MVP Ezi Magbegor, All-Stars 5 team members Jasmine Simmons and Monique Conti, along with fellow World Champions Abby Cubillo, Lara McSpadden, Kiera Rowe, Jazmin Shelley and Samantha Simons.
Completing a roster that is aiming to qualify for the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championships are Chantel Horvat, Chloe Bibby, Maddison Rocci and Zitina Aokuso.
“We have a great depth of talent across all positions,” head coach Paul Goriss said.
“We have selected a team with versatility, length, athleticism and speed with a defensive mindset. We know the Oceania championships will be challenging on and off the court but we have an adaptable and resilient team with a huge amount of national and international experience.”
The squad is made of members from Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence and the remainder from the WNBL.
“It is a privilege and honour to represent Australia and all the staff and players are grateful for the opportunity to put on the green and gold,” Goriss said.
“The work that the coaches put in at school, local, association, representative and national league level has assisted the girls in coming into camp in great shape and we would like to acknowledge the work the coaches in our states and territories are doing to help our athletes achieve their goals.”
Australia will be competing against seven other nations at the qualification tournament. The Gems have been drawn in Group A, alongside Fiji, Samoa and Tahiti. Making up Group B is Guam, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Since the U19 World Champs were created in 1985, the Gems have qualified every year. They have won only one gold medal, in 1993, while taking home bronze in the previous two events.
The FIBA Oceania event will be held from December 5-10, with the winner heading to Italy next year for the FIBA U19 World Championships.
Australian Gems | 2016 FIBA Oceania U18 Championships
|11||Chloe Bibby||VIC||Dandenong Rangers||Rowville Secondary College|
|15||Monique Conti||VIC||Melbourne Tigers||Maribyrnong Secondary College|
|6||Abby Cubillo||NT||Tracy Village T Birds / CoE||Lake Ginninderra, Belconnen|
|7||Chantel Horvat||VIC||Geelong Supercats / CoE||Radford College, Bruce|
|13||Ezi Magbegor||VIC||Coburg Giants / CoE||Lake Ginnindera, Belconnen|
|8||Maddison Rocci||VIC||Geelong Supercats / CoE||Lake Ginninderra, Belconnen|
|12||Lara McSpadden||NSW||Sydney Uni Flames / CoE||Lake Ginninderra, Belconnen|
|14||Zitina Aokuso||QLD||South West Metro Pirates / CoE||Runcorn State HS (Graduated)|
|9||Kiera Rowe||VIC||Bulleen Boomers / CoE||Radford College, Bruce|
|4||Jazmin Shelley||VIC||Southern Peninsula / CoE||Canberra High, Canberra|
|5||Jasmine Simmons||NSW||Mildura Heat / CoE||Lake Ginninderra, Belconnen|
|10||Samantha Simons||SA||Forestville Eagles / CoE||Lake Ginninderra, Belconnen|
Head Coach – Paul Goriss
Assistant Coaches – Alan McAughtry/Dee Butler
Physiotherapist – Jessica Thornton
Doctor – Dr Maja Markovic
Manager – Michele Menso