Twelve of Australia's best student basketballers from US colleges and Australian universities will unite in green and gold as the Australian Emerging Opals team finalised for the 29th Summer Universiade in Chinese Taipei this August.
The women's team consists of players who are currently completing university studies and are under the age of 23 with six players from American colleges joining six players who are studying at home.
Saint Mary’s Gaels teammates Carly Turner and Megan McKay will compete for Australia alongside Wake Forest’s Alex Sharp and Vanessa Panousis from Virginia Tech while Alanna Smith (Stanford) and Kristy Wallace (Baylor) have been named following their inclusion in the Opals selection camp squad last week.
Rounding out the Emerging Opals side are Abbey Wehrung and Keely Froling (both studying at the University of Canberra), Alex Wilson (NSW TAFE), Darcee Garbin (James Cook University), Lauren Scherf (Victoria University) and Tahlia Tupaea who is completing a diploma.
All six of the Australian-based players competed in the most recent WNBL season including University of Canberra Capitals' Froling and Wehrung.
Garbin reached the playoffs as a member of the Townsville Fire, Scherf reached the Grand Final with the Dandenong Rangers and Sydney Uni Flames teammates Wilson and Tupaea clinched the 2016/17 Championship.
To be led by Chris Lucas from the Adelaide Lightning, Simon Pritchard and Kristen Veal will act as assistant coaches for the team.
Having won the gold medal in 2007 and bronze medals in 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2013, the Emerging Opals will be aiming for continued success after finishing fifth in 2015.
They have been drawn into Group D where they will face Russia (last year’s bronze medallists), Lithuania and Argentina in the pool stage.
Winners of the past four gold medals, the USA will also be competing at the tournament alongside Canada (2015 silver medallist) as well as China and Japan.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the men’s University Games team in the coming days.
The 2017 Emerging Opals Schedule (all times AEST):
August 21: Australia vs. Lithuania at 10:00pm
August 22: Australia vs. Argentina at 7:30pm
August 23: Australia vs. Russia at 2:30pm
August 25: Quarter-Finals
August 26: Semi-Finals
August 28: Grand Final
The 2017 Emerging Opals World University Games Team:
|Keely Froling||21||Qld||University of Canberra|
|Darcee Garbin||23||WA||James Cook University|
|Megan McKay||20||WA||Saint Mary’s College|
|Vanessa Panousis||22||NSW||Virginia Tech|
|Lauren Scherf||21||Vic||Victoria University|
|Alex Sharp||20||Vic||Wake Forest University|
|Alanna Smith||20||Vic||Stanford University|
|Tahlia Tupaea||20||NSW||Astute Training|
|Carly Turner||22||Vic||Saint Mary’s College|
|Kristy Wallace||21||Qld||Baylor University|
|Abigail Wehrung||21||Vic||University of Canberra|
|Alex Wilson||23||SA||NSW Tafe|
|Chris Lucas (Head Coach), Simon Pritchard (Assistant Coach), Kristen Veal (Assistant Coach)|