The Women’s World Champs will be held in France from June 17-21 with four WNBL players representing Australia in Carley Mijovic, Nadeen Payne, Amelia Todhunter and Rebecca Cole set to hit the court.
“The competition will be fierce but we know these players will equip themselves well in a format of the game that is gaining momentum as a high-performance pathway,” said Jan Stirling, General Manager of High Performance.
“The selection process involved nominations from all WNBL club head coaches before a panel of current WNBL coaches with input from former Opals coach Carrie Graf identified the team.”
A seven-year player in the WNBL, Mijovic had a career-season in 2016/17 for the Perth Lynx as she recorded 13.3 points per game, 7.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game (all personal bests) while knocking down the second most amount of three-pointers in the league at 36%.
Payne entered the WNBL as a 16-year old with the AIS before becoming a prominent member of the Bendigo Spirit front court last season where she averaged 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest.
Todhunter came to the fore in Dandenong Rangers’ playoff run earlier this year as a defensive specialist while her tenacity on the floor and on the boards will be critical in the small confines of the 3x3 court.
Rounding out the team is Cole, a point guard that led the Melbourne Boomers in assists last season with 3.2 per game to go with an average of nine points.
She, alongside Payne and Mijovic, have represented Australia at Under-19 level while Payne and Mijovic also played for the Australian Under-17 Sapphires.
Coming in ranked as the 19th team worldwide, Australia will be aiming to improve on their finish from last year when they missed out on reaching the Quarter-Finals by the narrowest of margins.
They will face Ukraine (ranked sixth), China (ranked 11th), Japan (ranked 14th) and the Netherlands (ranked third) in the group stage across three days before all finals are played on June 21.
The Australian 3x3 Open Women’s World Championship Schedule (all times AEST):
June 18: Australia vs. Ukraine at 1.20am
June 18: Australia vs. China at 2.50am
June 20: Australia vs. Japan at 2.00am
June 20: Australia vs. Netherlands at 4.50am
June 21-22: Quarter Finals (10.50pm)- Gold Medal Game (5.00am)
The Under-18 World Championships will be hosted in China from June 28-July 2 with Lana Hollingsworth (Victoria), Ula Motuga (Queensland), Alexandra Fowler (Queensland) and Rashada Kaigey (Queensland) representing Australia.
All four players have proven themselves at Helloworld Australian Junior Championships with Hollingsworth averaging 7.9 points and 1.1 steals at this year’s Under-18 Champs as Vic Metro secured the bronze medal.
Motuga has been a member of a successful Qld South team over the past few years, winning an Under-16’s gold medal in 2015 when she recorded a double-double in the Grand Final before winning silver at last year’s Under-18’s while averaging eight points and eight rebounds per game.
Another integral member under the rim will be Fowler, who recorded 9.4 points, 10.6 rebounds (third best in the tournament) and 2.3 assists per game at the 2017 Under-18’s.
A proven scorer, Kaigey rounds out the team following an Under-18’s campaign this year in which she tallied 1.9 steals as well as 12.6 points per contest at 39% from beyond the arc.
Competitors throughout their junior career, these four players will now come together in an Australian uniform as they look to replicate the success of 2011 which saw the Aussies win the bronze medal at the 3x3 Under-18 World Champs.
The Australian Under-18 Women’s World Championship Schedule (all times AEST):
June 29: Australia (ranked 16th) vs. Switzerland (ranked 9th) at 6.20pm
June 29: Australia vs. Hungary (ranked 1st) at 9.05pm
July 1: Australia vs. Japan (ranked 17th) at 8.30pm
June 20: Australia vs. USA (ranked 8th) at 9.40pm
July 2: Quarter Finals (3.45pm)- Gold Medal Game (10.00pm)
Stay tuned to Basketball Australia’s and FIBA’s social media channels for information on live-streaming of the games from both tournaments closer to tip-off.