Basketball Australia announced this morning its first Opals squad under the watch of new Head Coach Sandy Brondello, which will again feature a number of Nunawading Basketball representatives in Jenna O’Hea (EBee’s), Alanna Smith (Vermont Vultures) and Nunawading Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Belinda Snell.
The naming of the Opals squad signals the start of preparations towards the FIBA Asia World Cup, which will see the 21-player contingent and staff head to Phoenix, Arizona for their initial selection camp, June 25 - July 3. Australia have been drawn to Group B for the FIBA Asia Cup along with Korea, Philippines and Japan. The Opals will need to reach the Semi-Finals in order to qualify for the 2018 FIBA World Cup.
O’Hea and Snell are now stalwarts of the Opals scene, having represented Australia at both Olympic and World Championship levels. For Smith, who has recently completed her sophomore (2nd) year at Stanford University, this will be her first official call up to the senior national women’s team selection camp.
Rebecca Allen (EBee's & Wattle Park Saints) and other contracted WNBA players have not been named in the squad due to being unavailable to participate in the FIBA Asia Cup.