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Rachel Jarry on Rio and signing with Montpellier
Fresh from a stint with the Australian Opals at the Rio Olympics, small forward Rachel Jarry is heading to French side Lattes Montpellier to get her first taste of European basketball.
Lattes Montpellier will be competing in the French Basketball League, as well as the highly regarded Euroleague competition where they will be up against the top sides from Spain, Turkey and Russia.
“I’m really excited to be heading to Montpellier," shared Jarry in speaking with The Pick and Roll.
"The south of France is a beautiful part of the world and Lattes Montpellier have been a strong team, having won the French Cup and League last season. I couldn’t ask for a better place to begin my European career.”
Jarry is coming off a successful WNBL season with the now defunct South East Queensland Stars who made it deep into the WNBL 15/16 finals series on an injury clouded roster. Jarry averaged 14.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists throughout the season in a strong display coming back from a knee injury which had sidelined her for the previous 10 months.
Since then, Jarry’s sole focus has been the Rio Olympics, opting to stay in Australia prior to the games to train as much as possible with the rest of the squad.
Whilst the Olympic campaign was not what Jarry or any of the Opals were aiming for, she hopes to put in the hard yards to be able to bounce back better than ever.
“We are obviously all shattered and it isn’t something you can forget about easily," shared Jarry. "The hardest part is that for some of the veterans that may have been their last game in the green and gold and they don’t deserve to go out that way. For the rest of us who are lucky enough to have the possibility of another shot at an Olympics, we can only learn from the result and put in the hard work to try and get a chance to redeem ourselves.”
In Rio, Jarry impressed most in the Opals' quarter final loss against Serbia with 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. She finished the tournament with an average of 5 points and 2 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game.
The Olympic campaign shared an insight into the rise of European basketball on the international scene, something Jarry is keen to see more of and adapt to.
“I think Europeans play a really smart style of play - we’ve seen it at recent international tournaments," added Jarry. "They’re able to grind out games in the half court. I expect a long season playing in both the French League and the EuroLeague, exposing me to some great players and a quality level of competition helping me to improve my game."
Jarry plans to head back to the United States after her European season to join the Minnesota Lynx. She featured in the side in 2014 and picked up a WNBA Championship title along the way.