FIBA U19 Men's & Women's World Championship field announced. Who did Australia draw?
The draw for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship took place on Thursday at the House of Basketball, FIBA’s headquarters on the shores of Lake Geneva - with both the Men's and Women's Australian squads being placed in tough groups.
Australian U19 Emus Squad | FIBA Oceania U19 Championships
The Australian U19 Emus will be in Group C with Canada, Italy and Tunisia.
This will prove to be a tough group for the Australian men, with Canada likely to put forward a strong squad while Italy has also seen a big improvement with their junior talent.
The first Australian U19 Emus camp will be held at the end of April (23rd-28th) with the following camp held toward the end of May (25th-28th). The Emus will then tour Spain and Croatia before traveling to Greece on July 6th.
Ben Simmons and Thon Maker
Although the squad has yet to be picked, the program has already taken a hit with Ben Simmons and Thon Maker unable to be a part of this campaign, while the latest rumour is that star Queensland guard William McDowell-White will also opt out of the campaign.
On a positive note, word is that UCLA forward Jonah Bolden will likely be a part of the team for the Championship.
2015 FIBA U19 World Championship Men's Draw
The Australian U19 Gems were selected in Group D with Korea, Serbia and Brazil.
Serbia and Brazil are both squads that can compete with the Australian squad while Korea could be a dark horse in the group stages if their 3-ball is falling.
Australia U19 Women's Squad | Photo credit to Basketball Fiji
The women's program has already taken a big hit with Keely Froling tearing her ACL, meniscus and cartilage in her left knee - keeping her out of this World Championship campaign.
The squad that competed at the FIBA Oceania U19 Championships had an impressive run, so expect the core of that squad to remain intact while adding the likes of Alicia Froling, Alliyah Fareo and Alex Sharp into the mix.
2015 FIBA U19 World Championship Women's Draw
It's not a forgone conclusion that both the Emus and Gems will advance past the group stages, but we're sure to be in for some exciting matchups.
The Men's tournament will be played in Heraklion (Crete), Greece from 27 June to 5 July while the Women's event will be held in Chekhov, Moscow in Russia from July 18 to July 26.