The Emerging Opals and Boomers teams have been announced by UniSport Australia for the 2019 Summer Universiade that will be hosted by Naples, Italy from July 3-14.
Also known as the World University Games, the tournament is the largest multi-sport event apart from the Olympic Games and features almost 10,000 athletes who are currently completing university studies competing across 18 disciplines.
Both teams return a host of a players who stepped out two years ago in Chinese Taipei, including four from the gold medal winning Emerging Opals team who will take aim at defending their title.
WNBL stars Abigail Wehrung, Keely Froling and Lauren Scherf are rejoined by Wake Forest’s Alex Sharp who won in 2017. Adding size and talent to the roster is the Seattle Storm’s 2019 WNBA Drafte selection, Ezi Magbegor, someone who is no stranger to the international stage after earning silver with the Opals at the 2018 FIBA World Cup.
After finishing her five years as Southern Methodist, Alicia Froling will link up with her sister, while Lara McSpadden, Steph Reid, Maddi Rocci and Anneli Maley all boast WNBL experience. Jasmine Simmons (Oregon), like Sharp, is the only other team member currently based in the US.
The Emerging Boomers who finished a disappointing ninth in 2017, will be looking to return to the dais for the first time since 2013 when they came home with silver.
Unlike the women’s team, the men’s side is loaded with players based in the US College system, including Duke Captain Jack White. A trio of Saint Mary’s stars will feature, with Tanner Krebs, Jock Perry and Alex Mudronja all selected to the team, while sharpshooters Dejan Vasiljevic (Miami), Jonah Antonio (UNLV), Isaac White (Stanford), Kyle Zunic (Winthrop) and Jack Purchase (Hawaii) will all suit up.
Big man George Blagojevic (Hartford) is another addition, forming a frontline with current NBL player Will Magnay.
The intriguing addition is that of Kyrin Galloway. A 6’8 forward who just completed his junior year with UNC Greensboro, Galloway has an American father and an Australian mother. Both his parents played basketball, with his mother Kylie having played in Townsville, and it now appears he has chosen to identify as Australian and (holds a dual passport).
Vasiljevic and Krebs are the only two returning players from the 2017 campaign, and will be keen on helping lead their team into medal contention.
16 teams will battle for the gold medal in the men’s and women’s competitions with the Emerging Opals drawn into Group D alongside China, Finland and Canada while the Emerging Boomers will take on Czech Republic, Israel and Mexico in Group A.
The Australians must finish in the top two from their group to advance to the finals but classification games are played through to the last day to determine final standings.
|Alicia Froling||QLD||Southern Methodist University|
|Keely Froling||QLD||University of Canberra|
|Lara McSpadden||NSW||University of Sydney|
|Ezi Magbegor||VIC||Deakin University|
|Anneli Maley||VIC||LCI Melbourne|
|Stephanie Reid||VIC||Curtin University|
|Maddison Rocci||VIC||Swinburne/Victoria University|
|Lauren Scherf||VIC||Victoria University|
|Alex Sharp||VIC||Wake Forest|
|Jasmine Simmons||NSW||Oregon State University|
|Abbey Wehrung||VIC||University of Canberra|
|Shannon Seebohm||Head Coach|
|Trudy Pearce||Team Manager|
|Jonah Antonio||WA||University of Las Vegas Nevada|
|George Blagojevic||VIC||University of Hartford|
|Kyrin Galloway||USA||Uni of North Carolina at Greensboro|
|Tanner Krebs||TAS||St. Mary’s|
|Will Magnay||QLD||Open Universities/Uni of South Australia|
|Alex Mudronja||SA||St. Mary’s/Adelaide 36ers|
|Jock Perry||VIC||St. Mary’s|
|Jack Purchase||VIC||University of Hawaii|
|Dejan Vasiljevic||VIC||University of Miami|
|Jack White||VIC||Duke University|
|Kyle Zunic||NSW||Winthrop University|
|Rob Beveridge||Head Coach|
|Joe Tertzakian||Team Manager|
Australian Schedule for the 2019 World Universiade
July 3: Women vs. Finland at 10:00pm
July 5: Women vs. Canada at 2:30am
July 5: Men vs. Israel at 2:30am
July 5: Women vs. China at 7:30pm
July 5: Men vs. Mexico at 7:30pm
July 7: Men vs. Czech Republic at 5:00am
July 8: Women’s Quarter-Finals at 2:30am or 5:00am
July 8/9: Men’s Quarter-Finals at 7:30pm, 2:30am or 5:00am
July 9: Women’s Semi-Finals at 2:30am or 5:00am
July 10: Men’s Semi-Finals at 2:30am or 5:00am
July 11: Women’s medal games at 2:30am and 5:00am
July 12: Men’s medal games at 2:30am and 5:00am