Just a year out from the Tokyo Olympics, Basketball Australia has announced the Australian 2020 Senior National Women’s Chemist Warehouse Opals Squad.
The squad of 23 is full of depth and a strong breadth of talent, including veteran Opal stars, as well as welcoming some young fresh faces.
Queenslanders Marianna Tolo (Mackay), Tiana Mangakahia (Southern Districts) and Zitina Aokuso (South West Metro and Logan) are joined by former Queensland representative Shyla Heal (Southern Districts, North Gold Coast and Rockhampton) and a host of State League players, past and present, including Darcee Garbin (Townsville), Cayla George (Cairns), Jenna O’Hea (Northside Wizards) and Maddison Rocci (Uni of Sunshine Coast).
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.”
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:
|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|
|Maddison 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|
Read Basketball Australia’s original announcement here.