With the 2018 Under-20 and Ivor Burge Championships tipping off in Gosford, New South Wales tomorrow, the team lists for all four competitions have been announced.
Held from February 6-11, 87 games will be played with the Under-20 men beginning on Tuesday night before the Under-20 women as well as the Ivor Burge men and women start on Wednesday.
The gold medal games will then be held on Sunday and will be live-streamed through Basketball Australia’s YouTube channel.
In the Under-20 Men, the NBA Global Academy will make their debut at this year’s tournament.
Containing athletes from six countries including Australia, Argentina, Egypt, South Korea, Cameroon and India, the team’s inclusion in the Under-20’s will enhance the development of the international players as well as Hunter Clarke, Tamuri Wigness, Wani Lodu Swaka Lo Buluk and Anyang Garang who have competed in previous Championships through the Australian pathway.
In front of their home crowd, NSW will be keen for redemption after winning the silver medal in 2017 and William Hickey, Matthew Gray and Jacob Foy will be back to help them move one step up on the podium while Michael Harris, Alex Mudronja, Ben Carter and Owen Hulland will be aiming to follow SA’s first title since 1993 from last year.
Having advanced through the 2017 tournament undefeated, Victoria will be going for their ninth consecutive title this year in the Under-20 Women’s tournament with Kiera Rowe, Rebecca Pizzey and Kara Tessari returning from last year.
Rowe and Pizzey were also members of the Australian Gems team that competed at last year’s Under-19 World Cup alongside fellow Victorian team mate Jazmin Shelley, Sam Simons (SA) and Lara McSpadden (NSW).
For the Ivor Burge Men, Victoria claimed their 13th consecutive Championship last year and after dominating in the gold medal game with 45 points, nine rebounds, seven steals and five blocks, Jake De La Motte will be back again.
He will feature for Victoria alongside Frazer Dawber and James Myers who won the bronze medal for Australia at the 2017 INAS World Championships while national team mates Bradley and Wayne Kinross from SA, Dylan Pace and Joshua Cleary from Tas and ACT’s Justin Koenig and Jack Littleton will also compete this year.
Victoria made it a double victory in the 2017 Ivor Burge competition, also winning the gold medal in the Ivor Burge Women’s tournament.
Kate Leckenby, Jess McCulloch and Evie Patterson from Victoria then went on to help Australia claim gold and silver medals at the INAS World Championships last year as the Aussies sent two teams to compete in the 3×3 tournament against France.
They will be back to defend their Under-20’s title this year but will face tough competition from fellow national players in Kim Perry and Brittany Anderson from ACT, Eliza Mills and Nicole Harris of NSW Country as well as SA’s Amy Howard.