The Australian Under-19 Women’s team – the Gems – has confirmed its final squad of 12 for the FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup, which takes place in Madrid, Spain between 15 – 23 July.
After a successful FIBA U18 Asian Championship, where the team defeated China to be the first Australian team to ever win the converted U18 Asian Woman’s Championship, the Gems will no doubt be hoping to capitalise on this momentum leading into the event.
Stacked with talent, the squad features, Isla Juffermans, who not only took home a gold medal the Foot Locker Under-20 National Champs in February for New South Wales, but also won the Bob Staunton MVP accolade for the women’s competition.
Joining Juffermans is Queenslander, Jess Petrie, who claimed the Foot Locker Defensive player in the same Under-20 Champs as well as WA’s dynamic two-way forward, Ruby Vlahov – whose father is NBL champion, Andrew Vlahov.
Rising stars, Nyadiew Puoch and Isobel Borlase have also been selected for the Gems. It’s been a busy week for the pair who were named in the Opals extended squad for the first time on Tuesday for the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup.
The team will head to Spain on Tuesday 4 July to play in a series of friendly games in a four nations cup prior to the World Cup commencing Saturday 15 July. The Gems will face Spain, France and the mighty USA, providing an ideal preparation for the FIBA U19 World Cup.
Head Coach David Herbert said he was impressed by the athletes at the recent camp and is looking forward to seeing what the team can produce on the international stage.
“I was very pleased with the talent and standard of play at our recent U19 World Cup selection camp,” Herbert said.
“All players competed with high intensity and showed a maturity above their years to pick up the Australian style of play that was implemented.
“The team has the potential to come together and challenge for the FIBA U19 World Cup and if they play with a selfless, team-first mentality and come together, which I know they can, they have the ability to really make an impact at this event,” he added.
The Australian team takes on Spain, Argentina and France in the pool rounds before playing in the round of 16 to determine their fate in this tournament.
The Gems’ Australian U19s Women’s Team:
David Herbert – Head Coach
Keegan Crawford – Assistant Coach
Zoe Carr – Assistant Coach
Donna Turner – Team Manager
Vivien Der Tateossian – Physiotherapist
Maja Markovic – Team Doctor