Growing up, Isobel Borlase dabbled in various sports, but when she started playing basketball, something clicked. The freedom to run around the court drew her in, and she knew she had found her sport. Fast forward to today, Borlase is a rising star in the world of basketball, with dreams of representing the Seven Consulting Opals at the highest level.
Early on in her basketball journey, Borlase was doubtful that she would play basketball professionally. She attended a few National Championships and Camps and although she wasn’t making teams initially, the invitations started to give her a sense of possibility.
“When I got invited to the Centre of Excellence here in Canberra, I guess it started to give me a realisation that this could be something I could pursue. From there I’ve achieved a few things, and want to strive for a few more.”
Achieve a few things she did; claiming silver at the 2021 U19 FIBA World Cup in Hungary; gold at the 2022 U18 FIBA Asian Championship – ending China’s run as five-time consecutive Champions, and earning a spot in the All-Star Five for the tournament.
The youngster signed a two-year deal for Adelaide Lightning in the WNBL, where she excelled in the 22/23 season, earning both the Betty Waston Breakout Player and Sixth Woman of the Year awards.
The 19-year-old, now on the cusp of making her Opals debut after being named for the first time in the Opal’s extended squad, returned to the AIS to experience the Opals culture for the first time at their most recent camp.
“I think coming here to the CoE again and being around such elite people, has been really helpful and you get to build relationships that will last forever. Everyone’s really supportive here,” Borlase said.
“We had a culture meeting on the first day and you really felt how connected all the girls are and how much this means to them.”
The sky is the limit for the talented South Australian, with Borlase setting her sights on playing amongst the best in the world.
“Being able to represent the Opals at an Olympics or World Cup would be probably top of my list, and then I guess wherever it takes me, go to the WNBA, Europe, but that’s a little way down the track.”
When asked what donning the green and gold for the Opals would mean to her, Borlase said:
“It would mean a lot; I look up to all these girls and getting to play alongside of them would be amazing. I guess it’s a way of giving back to my family, my friends and coaches for putting so much effort into me.”