Traversing the new qualification system through Asia, the Gems will need to finish in the top four to advance to the 2019 Under-19 World Cup while they will also be aiming to replicate the Emus performance from earlier this month and claim the gold medal.
Selected from an 18-player squad following two camps at Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence, the Gems’ team includes Isobel Anstey, Agnes Emma-Nnopu, Isabel Palmer, Ashlee Hannan and Lily Scanlon who won bronze with the Australian Sapphires at this year’s Under-17 World Cup.
Anstey, alongside Jazmin Shelley, have also been announced as Deakin Melbourne Boomers players in the WNBL while Miela Goodchild represented the Championship-winning JCU Townsville Fire last season.
In addition, Goodchild, Shelley and Samantha Simons will bring experience from their gold-medal winning performance with the Sapphires two years ago at the Under-17 World Cup while Shelley and Simons competed for the Gems at the Under-19 World Cup in Russia last year.
“We’ve got a really versatile team, especially in the 1-3 spots which will help the style of game that we want to play,” said Gems coach Dee Butler.
“Having two selection camps was a real luxury as we were able to have one run simultaneously with the Sapphires camp and that gave us the opportunity to look at their top-age players.
“Our three-day camp earlier this month then enabled us to assess the athletes for the final team and also establish our structures.
“We need to finish top four to qualify for the World Cup but the Gems culture of succeeding at the highest level means our ultimate goal is to win gold at the Asian Championships.”
The Gems qualified for the Under-18 Asian Championships by winning gold at the Under-17 Oceania Championships last year in Guam.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the release of the tournament schedule.
The Australian Gems Team for the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championships:
|Emma Clarke||Western Australia|
|Isabel Palmer||New South Wales|
|Samantha Simons||South Australia|