Olympian and Opals’ leadership group member, Tess Madgen has been named captain of the Australian team for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup this month.
Announced to the team today at the final training camp on the Gold Coast, the 32-year-old long-time Opal was overwhelmed with emotion when receiving the news from Coach Sandy Brondello and fought back tears as she spoke to the group.
“We (the leadership group) wanted to lead by empowering everyone to be a leader and that’s something I’m extremely passionate about. I’m going to be the best captain I can be, it’s a huge honour and I’m really overwhelmed. I love the team, let’s do this.”
Having made her senior national team debut in 2011 at the FIBA Oceania Championships, Madgen has totalled 65 games for the Opals across 13 years. She’s donned the green and gold at the 2018 FIBA World Cup, three FIBA Oceania Championships (2011, 2013, 2015) and made her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
A silver medallist at the FIBA World Cup, she’s more determined than ever to lead the Australian team back to the podium in just a couple of weeks’ time.
“Eight years ago, Tess impressed me with her toughness and being a great team player. She’s all about the team, actions speak louder than words although when she speaks, she’s so smart, she’s like a coach on the court,” Coach Sandy Brondello said.
“This is a proud moment for Tess, not everyone gets to captain their country so I’m happy for her and I know that she’ll do a great job in Sydney. The culture work that we’ve done has been so important to the team and Tess has been a big part of that.
“She has the respect from her peers, she fills whatever is required from the team and that shows a lot about the person she is.”
This announcement is extra special for Opals’ teammate, leader and friend Cayla George who has been there with Madgen since junior basketball days.
“I’m not the person and player I am without Tess Madgen. I’ve known her for over two decades, we’ve got a very close relationship so it couldn’t have gone to anyone more deserving than ‘Madg’. I’m really proud of her.”
The Opals will spend the rest of the week on the Gold Coast before heading to Sydney for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, set to tip off on September 22nd.