A 12-player strong team has been selected for Australia in preparation for the FIBA Under-17 Oceania Championship in August.
Held in New Zealand, the tournament will pit Tahiti, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Australia against each other but coach Shannon Seebohm does not believe playing away from home will hurt his team’s chances.
“I guess there is always an advantage to playing on home soil but I think our group is resilient enough to perform well no matter where we play,” Seebohm said.
Speaking on the team, Seebohm is excited about the flexibility of the group.
“We’ve put together an athletic team which suits our style of play. We want to be able to get up and down the floor and put pressure on the ball in the full-court while converting good defensive possessions into easy points at the other end.
“I also think we have a group of very skilled athletes so no matter what style of game we end up playing, we’re going to be able to perform.”
The Under-17’s will attend a pre-departure camp from August 10-13 before heading to New Zealand for their first match on August 14 in Rotorua. The gold medal match will then be played as a curtain-raiser to the Oceania Championship game between the Opals and the Tall Ferns in Tauranga on August 17.
“For a lot of our girls, it will be their first international experience,” Seebohm said.
“There will be challenges that come with that and the girls will have to remain focused on the task at hand and hopefully we can do what we need to do to come away with the wins.”
The 2015 Under-17 Oceania Championship team:
Ella Batish (Vic) Sandringham
Lucy Cochrane (Vic) Sandringham
Abby Cubillo (NT) Darwin
Najvada George (Vic) Dandenong
Cassidy McLean (NSW) Newcastle
Lara McSpadden (NSW) Newcastle
Ezi Magbegor (Vic) Coburg
Rebecca Pizzey (Vic) Bulleen
Kiera Rowe (Vic) Bulleen
Jazmin Shelley (Vic) Southern Peninsula
Jasmine Simmons (NSW) Bathurst
Samantha Simons (SA) Forestville
Emergencies: Rebecca Abel (Tas) Queenstown, Callie Bourne (ACT) Norths, Hannah Lehman (SA) Forestville, Taylor Mole (Tas) Wellington, Darcy Rees (SA) Forestville