The INAS Global Games, held for athletes with an intellectual disability, will be held in Ecuador from September 20 in a week-long event with basketball one of eight sports eligible for competition.
The Australian men’s team, the Boomerangs, and the women’s team, the Pearls, will make the tough 30-hour journey as they travel from Sydney to Guayaquil via Los Angeles, Atlanta and Quito.
Once arriving, the sides will pack in four days of training before their Games schedule begins on September 21. This year, the women will play in a 3×3 competition while the men will remain in a 5×5 format.
A veteran of the Pearls, Molly Urquhart-Morgan will compete in her fourth international competition this year and her third Global Games.
“I’m excited and nervous all at the same time,” she said. “We’re a very young team so I guess I have to look after the new girls but a couple of the newest additions have come in from nationals so there is some great talent coming through the ranks.”
The Pearls, with their ten-player squad split over two teams named Australia Green and Australia Gold, will clash with each other in their opening game. They will then confront Japan White, Japan Black and France before going through the cycle again to conclude the round robin group stage.
The Boomerangs kick off their campaign against France before facing Venezuela, Portugal, Japan and Poland in the group stage.
They will be hoping to improve on their third-placed finish at the 2013 World Championships while their last Global Games, in 2011, saw the Boomerangs finish fourth.
This year, the Semi-Finals will start on September 26 with the medal games conducted on the final day of competition, September 27.
“When you go and play international competition, you always want a medal,” said Urquhart-Morgan.
“So hopefully we walk away with the gold and silver.”
The 2015 Australia Boomerangs: Joshua Cleary (TAS), Frazer Dawber (VIC), Jake De La Motte (VIC), Jordan East (VIC), Bradley Kinross (SA), Wayne Kinross (SA), Justin Koenig (ACT), Harrison Mallard (SA), Jarrod Thomson (VIC), Matthew Skerman (QLD)
The 2015 Australian Pearls: Brittany Anderson (ACT), Taylor Anderson (ACT), Jessica Duncan (NSW), Amy J Howard (SA), Kate Leckenby (VIC), Jessica McCulloch (VIC), Eliza Mills (WA), Lois Shea (VIC), Molly Urquhart-Morgan (VIC), Katlin Zonneveld (VIC).