Breaking onto the World Basketball scene at the 1957 Brazil FIBA World Championships, Australia’s National Women’s Basketball team- the Opals- have been at the forefront of Australia’s success on the international basketball scene.
Currently holding a #3 world ranking, the Opals have worked their way to a medal at five of their 10 Olympic Games. The peak of the Opals’ success hit in the early 2000s, as their three Silver and two Bronze medals were claimed at five consecutive Games between 1996-2012, with only an elusive Olympic Gold medal missing from their collection.
It was the likes of Sandy Brondello, Michelle Timms, Rachael Sporn and Jenny Whittle who led the Australian Opals to create history in 1996, claiming the first ever Australian basketball Olympic medal from both the men’s and women’s teams. The introduction of a young Lauren Jackson to the national squad at the 2000 Olympics saw the Opals hit the pinnacle of their success over the following decade.
2006 FIBA World Cup Champions, the Opals rounded out the full medal set on the World Cup stage and dominated the FIBA Oceania Championship league with a 100% Gold medal rate, claiming 15 top spots from 15 appearances. In addition to that success, they’re one time Silver and dual Bronze Asia Cup medallists in their three Asia Cups- the most recent Bronze addition claimed in Jordan of 2021.
The Opals look forward to welcoming the highly anticipated FIBA Women’s World Cup to the shores of Sydney in 2022, with the focus to one up their second-place finish at the 2018 World Cup.