Victorians earn Commonwealth Games call up

VICTORIA will be well-represented in the Australian Commonwealth Games basketball teams with 11 players in the Opals and Boomers squads.

Ready to take on the rest of the Commonwealth on the Gold Coast next month, the Boomers and Opals will lock heads with the likes of Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand in a bid to win our second batch of Commonwealth Games basketball gold medals.

Our Opals will be represented by a wealth of Victorians – Stephanie Blicavs (nee Cumming), Liz Cambage, Alice Kunek, Tessa Lavey, Jenna O’Hea, Ezi Magbegor and recently naturalised citizen Kelsey Griffin.

The Boomers are also well-represented with Victorians as Mitch Creek, Daniel Kickert and Nathan Sobey earned their call ups to the Australian colours.

Evergreen shooting guard Belinda Snell will get another crack at Commonwealth Games gold after earning her second call up to the squad. She is the only Victorian to return for a second Commonwealth Games tilt, having played in the first Commonwealth Games basketball tournament in Melbourne in 2006.

Rising star Ezi Magbegor has earned her first major Opals call-up, as the 19-year-old #TeamVic champion gets a taste of international elite women’s basketball.

At this morning’s announcement, champion Opal and Olympic Games medallist Liz Cambage said it was a great thrill to don the green-and-gold again and the team had only one aim for the tournament.

“The team won gold at the Melbourne (Commonwealth) Games in 2006, so we will be really striving to achieve this again,” Cambage said. “To pull on the green and gold is always brilliant but to do it on home soil will be even better.

“We (basketball) haven’t been a part of the last couple of Commonwealth Games but now we are, so we are really looking forward to the competition.”

The Boomers have Nigeria, New Zealand and Canada in their pool while the Opals have Canada, England and Mozambique.

Basketball will be held in Cairns and Townsville before the finals are held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday 14 April and Sunday 15 April.

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