Basketball Australia announced the extended Seven Consulting Opals squad in preparation for the 2023 Asia Cup and the 2024 Olympics.
After the first full season of the Coles Express NBL1, where the Coles Express National Finals crowned the two nation’s best teams, the NBL1 has produced 23 players for Opals 2023 squad from. NBL1 this past season.
The squad features six players who have already signed for the 2023 season:
Zitina Aokuso (NBL1 South: Mount Gambier Pioneers)
Alanna Smith (NBL1 South: Hobart Chargers)
Steph Reid (NBL1 North: Townsville Flames)
Maddy Rocci (NBL1 North: South West Metro Pirates)
Tiana Mangakahia (NBL1 North: Northside Wizards)
Lauren Nicholson (Sutherland Sharks).
Coach for the bronze medallist FIBA World Cup Opals Sandy Brondello will return to Australia for the camp and is impressed by the depth of talent available for selection.
“There is no doubt the World Cup was fantastic, but all our attention is now firmly on the future, and we have some really exciting talent that I look forward to working with,” she said.
The camp will give us the opportunity to bring back our seasoned athletes and mix them with emerging talent in what will be a very competitive environment. We have to keep investing in the future and immersing them in the Opals culture so they know physically and mentally what it takes to play at the highest level.
“I’m excited to go back to the Centre of Excellence, it’s been a while I have to say, I’m sure it will bring back a lot of memories and I feel really honoured to be coming back here as a former graduate and now having the privilege to be coaching the national team.”
The full list of Opals who played in the 2022 NBL1 season is below:
Zitina Aokuso (Ballarat Miners)
Jade Melbourne (Ballarat Miners)
Chloe Bibby (Kilsyth Cobras)
Sara Blicavs (Geelong Supercats)
Keely Froling (Launceston Tornadoes)
Mariana Tolo (Launceston Tornadoes)
Darcee Garbin (Frankston Blues
Tess Madgen (Bendigo Braves)
Anneli Maley (Eltham Wildcats)
Lauren Scherf (Kilsyth Cobras)
Tiana Mangakahia (Northside Wizards)
Shyla Heal (Northside Wizards)
Steph Reid (Townsville Flames)
Maddy Rocci (USC Rip City)
Shaneice Swain (Mackay Meteorettes)
Cayla George (Cairns Dolphins)
Lauren Nicholson (Sutherland Sharks)
Isobel Borlase (BA Centre of Exellence)
Nyadiaw Puoch (BA Centre of Exellence)
The Centre of Excellence has now joined the NBL1 East for the 2023 season, for more information click here.
The camp will be held at the AIS National Training Centre from March 31-April 5. See the full Opals team here.