The Australian team selected for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG), to be played between October 6-18, has been announced.
The 2018 YOG marks the first time that 3×3 basketball has been included, coming after the announcement that 3×3 basketball will be involved at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Four states are represented in the team with Suzi-Rose Deegan (Western Australia), Alexandra Fowler (Queensland), Ruby Porter (South Australia) and Sara-Rose Smith (Victoria) set to travel to Argentina for the YOG with Gerard Hillier named as head coach.
Fowler and Porter are fresh off a bronze-medal winning performance with the Australian Sapphires at the FIBA Under-17 World Championships while Fowler has previous experience in the new basketball format, representing her country at the 3×3 Under-18 World Cup last year.
Porter also claimed a silver medal at the Under-18 Australian Championships in April, falling in the final to Smith’s Victorian Metro team while Deegan backed up her Centre of Excellence scholarship with an impressive performance for WA Metro at the Under-18’s.
“3×3 is much faster and more intense, it’s a very exciting game,” Fowler told the Australian Olympic Committee.
“3×3 is a very different style of play compared to 5×5 basketball,” agreed Porter.
“It is quick and upbeat, meaning there is a shorter amount of play time. Athletes are continuously running, scoring and playing defence. There is no stopping.”
20 teams will compete in the women’s tournament including hosts Argentina, defending Champions USA as well as the likes of Japan, China, France and Germany.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the athletes who have been selected,” said coach Hillier.
“Not only will the YOG’s be a fantastic experience in itself but to be competing in such a fast growing and exciting sport like 3×3 on the world stage will be an amazing experience for all involved.
“All four members of the team have competed at state or national level and performed extremely well so it is shaping up to be an amazing Youth Olympic Games.”
The Australian 3×3 Team for the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games:
Suzi-Rose Deegan (17), Perth, WA
Alexandra Fowler (16), Townsville, QLD
Ruby Porter (16), Adelaide, SA
Sara-Rose Smith (16), Melbourne, VIC