The Australian Emus and Gems teams have been finalised ahead of the Under-19 World Championships. Consisting of 12 players for each side, the Emus and Gems selections were made following training camps in May.
The men’s tournament takes place in Greece from June 27 – July 5 while the women’s is in Russia from July 18 -26.
Airbnb Australian Emus coach Adam Caporn believes that the squad assembled will take on the challenge with great enthusiasm.
“In terms of basketball style, we have a group that will play up-tempo and with great energy,” he said.
After some college experience in the USA, Caporn says Geremy McKay can be one of the leaders as well as SEABL-experienced players in Jack McVeigh, George Blagojevic and Tanner Krebs.
“We have a good mix of guys that are playing SEABL, college ball and some that are coming off great performances at the Under-18 nationals,” he explained. “But those guys will provide a foundation to lead our younger brigade.”
Regarding the Jayco Australian Gems team, coach Paul Goriss has a squad with more international experience.
“I’m excited with the size and athleticism of the group as well as the experience from girls who were at the Under-17 and Under-19 World Championships,” he said. “There is also emerging talent in girls like Ezi Magbegor [who is just 15 years-old] while having Alicia Froling and Kristy Wallace returning from college basketball is a huge plus.”
Goriss is looking to Wallace and Froling for leadership but knows they cannot be the only ones to rely upon.
“Those two girls have a great deal of experience internationally and domestically, but leadership comes from the whole group and I think we need to do it by committee.”
Departing on June 10, the Emus will play a couple of preparation games in Spain and Croatia before their World Championship campaign begins. In the group stage, they will face Canada, Italy and Tunisia.
The Gems will leave on July 3 to play two games against the Netherlands in Amsterdam, as well as participate in a short training camp. They will then head to Spain for a pre-worlds tournament against Spain, Canada and USA before arriving in Russia two days before their World Championship begins against South Korea, Brazil and Serbia.
Goriss is already preparing for those group stage matches.
“We’ve got some tape on Serbia’s qualifying games so as a coaching staff we’re preparing the scout and getting ready for Game 1,” he said.
Caporn believes the World Championship is a stepping stone for his player’s long-term commitment to Australia.
“This is a really exciting opportunity and in terms of the bigger picture, it’s a positive chance for growth with respect to these guys ultimately representing Australia at the senior level in the Olympic Games or World Cup,” he said.
The Under-19 Australian Emus team: George Blagojevic (Vic), Kyle Clark (Tas), Deng Gak (NSW), Angus Glover (NSW), Jordan Hunter (NSW), Tanner Krebs (Tas), William McDowell-White (Qld), Geremy McKay (Vic), Jack McVeigh (Qld), Dejan Vasiljevic (Vic), Jack White (Vic), Thomas Wilson (Vic).
The Under-19 Australian Gems team: Madeleine Dennis (WA), Montana Farrah-Seaton (NSW), Alicia Froling (Qld), Chantel Horvat (Vic), Eziyoda Magbegor (Vic), Anneli Maley (Vic), Mikayla Pirini (WA), Lauren Scherf (Vic), Alexandra Sharp (Vic), Alanna Smith (Vic), Tahlia Tupaea (NSW), Kristy Wallace (Qld).