Both squads will gather for their first camp in February. Head coach of the women’s program, Marissa Fillipou, is eager to get the group together and begin building towards what promises to be a great World Championship campaign.
“We’re really excited. The process of qualifying for the World Championship wrapped up in September after the success at the U17 [FIBA] Oceania Championship. The focus shifted really quickly to the World Championship campaign,” she said.
“The athletes that took us through to the qualifiers did an excellent job and achieved the target we were looking at. Now we start again. We’ve opened up the squad to 18 athletes for the first camp in February and that squad is a moving beast all the time,” she said.
“We want the environment to be as competitive as possible, but also building the culture of our team and what underpins us is a real priority,” she said.
The teams will take part in four camps in total in 2012, in addition to a trip overseas to gain experience playing competitive international basketball on foreign soil.
According to head coach of the U17 Men’s program, Guy Molloy, this is an exciting time for these athletes, and stressed that the opportunity to play international basketball has not always been available to players at this age group.
“This is now the base level international program on offer,” he said. “It’s a very exciting time because previously those players, or this age group of players, were a couple of years away from contemplating international basketball. Now it hits the arena much earlier for them than it would have, so I think it’s a massive jump in expectation. It’s a massive opportunity, so all of those factors make it quite exciting,” he said.
According to Molloy, although the players selected for the FIBA Oceania series in 2011 make a strong case to also make the team that will represent Australia in front of the world in 2012, there are certainly no guarantees, and there will be plenty of opportunities for all players in the squad to earn their spot in the World Championship team.
“I think it’s fair to say that those 12 players who won the Oceania Championship have the first right at defending those positions having won it in 2011; however we’ve always been very clear to those 12 players to say that selection in 2011 does not automatically mean selection in 2012,” he said.
“But I will say that we were one of the smaller, less athletic teams in the 2010 Worlds, and the indications are that this team will be bigger across the board and more athletic and that is an exciting prospect as well,” he said.
The 2012 FIBA U17 Men’s World Championship will be held in Lithuania from 29 June – 8 July, while the 2012 FIBA U17 Women’s World Championship will be held in the Netherlands from 17 – 26 August.
Australian U17 Boys’ Basketball Squad
Sam Daly, SA, Sturt Sabres
Josh Derksen, QLD, Toowoomba
Mirko Djeric, NSW, Bankstown
Nick Duncan, NSW, Manly Warringah
Dante Exum, VIC, Keilor
Matt Jackson, VIC, Diamond Valley
Sam Johns , SA, Southern Tigers
Tanner Krebs, TAS, Grenadiers
Fabijan Krslovic, NSW, Northern Suburbs
Michael Luxford, VIC, Werribee Devils
Cher Maker, NSW, Newington College
Darcy Malone, ACT, West Belconnen
Jonathan Mbakwe, NSW, Sydney City Comets
Christian Petracca, VIC, Bulleen
Jack Purchase, VIC, Melbourne Tigers
Ben Simmons, VIC Metro, Knox
Cade Towers, QLD, Southern Districts Spartans
Felix von Hofe, VIC Metro, Melbourne Tigers
Head Coach: Guy Molloy
Assistant Coach: Alan McAughtry
Assistant Coach: Jamie O'Loughlin
Manager: Kevin Smith
Physio: Eirik Ulvestad
Doctor: Cliff Baxter
Australian U17 Women’s Basketball Squad
Kaylee Biddell, SA Country
Louise Brown, VIC Metro
Stephanie Collins, VIC Metro
Alicia Froling, QLD North
Keely Froling, QLD North
Kate Hewett, NSW Country
Grace Lennox, Tasmania
Tiana Mangakahia, QLD South
Molly Matthews, VIC Country
Amanda Meinking, VIC Metro
Vanessa Panousis, NSW Metro
Dani Pearce, VIC Country
Lauren Scherf, VIC Metro
Alanna Smith, VIC Metro
Brodie Theodore, VIC Metro
Carly Turner, VIC Metro
Kristy Wallace, QLD South
Abigail Wehrung, VIC Country
Head Coach: Marissa Fillipou
Assistant Coach: Chris Lucas
Assistant Coach: Simon Pritchard
Manager: Donna Ironmonger
Physio: Rosie Molloy
Doctor: To be confirmed