Australian U19 Gems squad named for May training camp
An 18-player squad has been chosen to the Australian U19 Women's squad in preparation for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Chekhov, Moscow in Russia later this year.
The camp will be held from May 23-28 at Basketball Australia's National Centre of Excellence (CoE), with head coach Paul Goriss likely to pick the final squad of 12 in the coming weeks.
Australia U19 Women's Squad at the FIBA Oceania U19 Championships | Photo credit to Basketball Fiji
Australian U19 Gems Training Camp Roster
Chloe Bibby - VIC
Kasey Burton - VIC
Madeleine Dennis - WA
Montana Farrah-Seaton - NSW
Alliyah Fareo - NSW
Alicia Froling - QLD
Ella Hellessey - VIC
Chantel Horvat - VIC
Ezi Magbegor - VIC
Anneli Maley - VIC
Mikayla Pirini - WA
Lauren Scherf - VIC
Alex Sharp - VIC
Demi Skinner - SA
Alanna Smith - VIC
Elizabeth Tonks - NSW
Tahlia Tupaea - NSW
Kristy Wallace - QLD
Headlining the squad are the current college athletes, with Kristy Wallace (Baylor), Alliyah Fareo (LSU) and Alicia Froling (SMU) coming off impressive seasons with their respective teams. Keely Froling - Alicia's twin sister - unfortunately suffered an ACL, meniscus and cartilage tear in her left knee, making her unavailable for this campaign.
An astounding nine CoE scholarship holders have been selected to this squad: Chantel Horvat, Anneli Maley, Mikayla Pirini, Lauren Scherf, Ezi Magbegor, Alex Sharp, Demi Skinner, Alanna Smith and Elizabeth Tonks.
Maley is coming off an impressive performance at the U18's Australian Junior Championships last week, where her VIC Metro team won the tournament for the second year in a row. Chantel Horvat also put up some great numbers at that event, proving to be one of the most talented players in the tournament.
Anneli Maley | Photo Credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos
One of the more exciting additions to the squad is 6'4 Ezi Magbegor, who is easily the youngest player in the squad at just 15 years of age. Magbegor is currently in her first year at the CoE, with an extremely bright future ahead of her.
Tahlia Tupaea and Lauren Scherf were both members of the Australian U19 squad for the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women, and will bring a lot of experience to this squad. Both players have dominated the junior basketball scene in Australia and have transitioned smoothly into WNBL play over the past few years.
Montana Farrah-Seaton and Ella Hellessey were members of the Australian U19 squad last December for the FIBA Oceania U19 Championship, while Kasey Burton was a member of the U19 squad for the 2013 FIBA Oceania Pacific Championships.
Rounding out the squad is Chloe Bibby and Madeleine Dennis. Bibby put up very impressive numbers in last week's U18's Australian Junior Championship, while Dennis was equally impressive at the U20's event earlier this year.
2015 FIBA U19 World Championship Women's Draw
The Australian U19 Gems were selected in Group D at the event, facing Korea, Serbia and Brazil in the group stages.
Although Australia has the potential to put forward a strong squad for the tournament, Serbia and Brazil both have the ability to compete with the Gems. Korea could be a dark horse in the group stages if they shoot the ball well from the perimeter, so getting through the group stages is not a forgone conclusion.