The teams that will represent Australia at next week’s FIBA Under-18 Oceania Championships have been named, with the Gems and Emus squads stacked with talent.
With the Emus completing their final camp, 24 of the nation’s most promising basketballers will head to Fiji for the championships which run from 5-10 December. The winner of the tournament will qualify for the FIBA U19 World Championships next July.
Five Centre of Excellence athletes headline the Emus team, including Angus Glover, Lat Nai, Kyle Zunic, Samson Froling and Tom Fullarton. All five members of that group have international experience, with Glover and Nai playing in the 2015 U19 World Championships, while Zunic, Froling and Fullarton participated in this year’s U17 World Championships.
“It’s just a great opportunity to put on the green and gold,” Glover said, via Basketball Australia.
“I wear those colours with pride every time and everyone is focused on the job at hand. To get back and play on the world stage like in 2015 will be amazing and I feel very confident in our team to do something special.”
Emus’ coach, Adam Caporn, believes his team’s mindset will help them defend their gold medal from the same event in 2014.
“I am very excited about this group and proud of the commitment and effort they have shown already,” Caporn said, via Basketball Australia.
“Every individual is clearly invested and passionate about upholding the ideals upon which great Australian teams have been built.”
Assistant coach, Timothy Mallon, echoed those sentiments.
“We have been preparing the team intensely, and we are ready to represent Australia proudly in this tournament,” Mallon said, via Basketball Australia.
“We have a great emphasis on team work, defensive intensity, unity and a desire to do our very best for every minute of the game.”
Brisbane Bullets’ guard, Matt Kenyon, will leave the NBL squad for the tournament. Athlete Development Camp members Makuach Maluach, Jacob Rigoni and Samuel Short, along with Ben Carter, Isaac White and Gabriel Hadley, round out the 12-man unit.
For the Gems, head coach Paul Goriss will leave his WNBL duties with the Canberra Capitals to lead the Aussies in Fiji.
“It’s really difficult and that’s part of the thing about when I first took on this job [at the Capitals],” Goriss said, via James Hall of The Canberra Times.
“I knew that the Gems thing was very important to me as well as my coaching, and I’m also grateful for the opportunity to coach an Australian team but it’s hard to walk away from this mid-season.”
A winning culture will already be installed within the Gems, with eight members from this year’s U17 World Championships gold medal squad heading to Fiji. Jazmin Shelley, Abby Cubillo, Monique Conti, Jasmine Simmons, Sam Simons, Kiera Rowe, Ezi Magbegor and Lara McSpadden will lead the Gems’ charge.
Complementing that pack will be Chole Bibby, Chantel Horvat, Zitina Aokuso and Maddison Rocci.
To see the Emus and Gems’ schedule, click here. All games played on court one of the championships will be available live at youtube.com/fiba.
The Australian Under-19 Emus for the 2016 Oceania Qualifiers:
|Froling||Samson||10/02/2000||QLD North / CoE|
|Fullarton||Tom||23/02/1999||QLD South / CoE|
|Glover||Angus||8/09/1998||NSW Country / CoE|
|Kenyon||Matthew||8/02/1998||NSW Country / Brisbane Bullets|
|Nai||Lat||16/08/1998||SA Metro / CoE|
|Zunic||Kyle||4/03/1999||NSW Country / CoE|
The Australian Jayco Under-19 Gems for the 2016 Oceania Qualifiers:
|11||Chloe Bibby||VIC||Dandenong Rangers||Rowville Secondary College|
|15||Monique Conti||VIC||Melbourne Boomers||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|