10 Victorians named in Australian Opals Squad

Just a year out from the Tokyo Olympics, Basketball Australia has announced the Australian 2020 Senior National Women’s Chemist Warehouse Opals Squad.

Amongst the 23 named were 10 Victorian stars including Elizabeth Cambage, Alanna Smith and Ezi Magbegor.

The squad is full of depth and a strong breadth of talent, including veteran Opal stars and some young fresh faces.

Victorians Jaz Shelley and Maddison Rocci will be the new kids on the block, selected for their first time in the Australian Opals squad.

The two have asserted themselves as promising players in the last year with Rocci proving herself as a guard in the WNBL with the Canberra Capitals and Shelley showcasing her talents both nationally as Basketball Victoria’s Junior Female Athlete of the Year and in college with the University of Oregon.

Maddison Rocci with the Canberra Capitals

With an uncertainty still surrounding the FIBA Qualification window from 8 November to 16 November 2020, the Opals squad is required to be well prepared. The Opals will continue expectantly through to September, when Basketball Australia will be advised about the status of the qualification events by FIBA.

Australian Opals Head Coach Sandy Brondello is excited to extend the squad out to some of the younger talent who have shown extensive potential.

“From November 2020 to end of 2021, we will embark on an intensive schedule in preparation for the Olympics, followed by Asia Cup and Qualifiers. With that in mind, we decided to extend our squad to 23 players” Brondello said.

“While the core group has remained the same, we are excited to include some of our talented younger players (Shyla Heal, Jaz Shelley, Maddie Rocci and Tiana Mangakahia) who have shown much improvement over the past few years and deserve their selection in this squad.”

Jazmin Shelley with Victoria’s Under-20 team

Whilst this is a squad of 23, it will remain fluid and can be reduced and or increased should an athlete deliver outstanding performances during their competitive season as the Opals work to build their strongest side for the upcoming Olympics in 2021.

“While the Olympics postponement was disappointing but necessary, we are excited as a group to get back together in November and start the process of building our chemistry to become the best team possible for Tokyo and beyond” said Brondello.

All Coaches will continue to monitor and assess the elite performances of Australian athletes in professional leagues such as the Chemist Warehouse WNBL, the European Leagues, the WNBA and the Chinese Basketball Association.

The 2020 Australian Senior National Women’s Chemist Warehouse Opals Squad:

 

NAME: CURRENT TEAM:
Rebecca Allen Valencia, Spain / New York Liberty
Zitina Aokuso JCU Townsville Fire
Sara Blicavs Jayco Southside Flyers
Elizabeth Cambage Las Vegas Aces
Rebecca Cole Jayco Southside Flyers
Katie-Rae Ebzery Perth Lynx
Darcee Garbin Perth Lynx
Cayla George Deakin Melbourne Boomers
Kelsey Griffin* University of Canberra Capitals
Shyla Heal JCU Townsville Fire
Tessa Lavey Bendigo Spirit
Tess Madgen Deakin Melbourne Boomers
Ezi Magbegor Seattle Storm/Deakin Melbourne Boomers
Tiana Mangakahia Syracuse University, USA
Leilani Mitchell* Washington Mystics/ Jayco Southside Flyers
Lauren Nicholson JCU Townsville Fire
Jenna O’Hea Jayco Southside Flyers
Maddie Rocci University of Canberra Capitals
Jaz Shelley University of Oregon, USA
Alanna Smith Phoenix Mercury/ Adelaide Lightning
Stephanie Talbot Adelaide Lightning
Marianna Tolo University of Canberra Capitals
Sami Whitcomb* Perth Lynx

 

*Restricted Player, only one can be named in a final term of 12. 

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