Jenny Whittle is the link between three of the highest points in Australia’s basketball history: the World Championship for Junior Women in 1993, our first Olympic medal in Atlanta in 1996 and the World Championship for Senior Women a decade later. For over a decade Whittle was the mountain in the middle of the Opals defence, providing the height that had been so lacking in years past.
In over 300 games in Australian colours (60 of them as a junior) Whittle won a total of seven medals (three of them gold). The respect in which she was held by her peers produced one of the great moments of the 2006 World Championship campaign. At the presentation ceremony, Opals captain Lauren Jackson grabbed the trophy, swept down the line of her teammates and handed it to Whittle, provoking choked throats across the country.
As a Life Member of the WNBL, Whittle played 295 games with five clubs over almost two decades, winning championships with Canberra (2005-06) and Adelaide (2007-08, in what would prove to be her last game). She also had extended stints with teams in France, Germany, Hungary and Spain.
This mighty warrior was a cornerstone of a golden age for the Opals, when they took on and beat the rest of the world. For her on-court labours, there can be no finer reward for Jenny Whittle than to be enshrined as a Player in the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.