Five athletes from the Women’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) program have made verbal commitments to Division 1 NCAA colleges and will be heading overseas in 2019.
Isabelle Bourne, Elissa Brett, Adelaide Fuller, Ashlee Hannan, and Eliza Hollingsworth will continue their basketball development within the NCAA collegiate system, with several other athletes choosing to wait until the completion of their Year 12 studies before deciding their eventual college destination.
Bourne has gone from strength to strength during her two years at the Centre of Excellence, selected to compete with multiple national junior teams as well as earning a call-up to the Australian Women’s 3X3 senior team that won Asia Cup gold in Mongolia last year.
Wining tournament MVP honours at that competition, Bourne is a multi-skilled forward that garnered a huge amount of interest from NCAA schools before settling on the University of Nebraska.
“I decided Nebraska was the best fit for me due to the combination of the coaches, the academic support available and the great team culture within the program,” she said.
“I am very excited to be a part of the Husker family.”
Brett, a hard-working South Australian combo guard, joined the CoE Women’s program after being a consistent performer at Australian Junior Championships.
She slotted seamlessly into the SEABL competition with her trademark brand of work rate and physicality and after being selected in several national junior squads and fielding multiple scholarship offers, Brett settled on Bowling Green State University as her destination for 2019.
“I’m extremely excited to commence the next chapter of my basketball journey at Bowling Green State University,” said Brett.
“Their program was the best fit for me and I am grateful for the opportunity to become a Falcon.”
Fuller has enjoyed a rapid rise over the past 12 months.
She earned her CoE scholarship, made a Queensland state team, was selected in the Under-19 Gems squad and was then offered an NCAA Division 1 scholarship with Davidson College.
The versatile power-forward from Brisbane opted for an early verbal commitment and will be a Wildcat in 2019.
“The close-knit community at Davidson really appealed to me and the existing Australian connections within the program made my commitment to the Wildcats an easy decision in the end,” said Fuller.
Hannan has endured a frustrating 2018 through injury but that has not prevented her from coming back even stronger to earn a spot in both the Sapphires and Gems campaigns this year and she is now set to represent the University of Texas Longhorns.
“I can’t wait to improve my game under Coach Aston and to compete with some of the top prospects in the US as a Longhorn in 2019,” said Hannan.
Rounding out the recent CoE college commitments, Hollingsworth has become the newest addition to the Gonzaga University Bulldogs.
This announcement follows a stellar 2018 for the forward after she won a FIBA World Cup bronze medal with the Sapphires and a gold medal as an integral member of the Vic Metro women t the Under-18 Australian Championships.
“I’m excited to develop my game under some of the most experienced coaches in the WCC and to challenge myself against elite level athletes day in and day out,” said Hollingsworth.
These athletes, along with as many as three more current CoE athletes, will head to the USA in mid-late 2019 to forge their respective paths within the NCAA.