Opals announce Olympic squad for Paris Games

EARLIER today, the Australian Opals announced their extended squad for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic Games, which are set to kick off on July 26.

The Opals recently cemented their spot at the Games after producing a dominant campaign at the Olympic Qualifiers. The tournament was capped off with an emphatic 85-52 win over Germany that sealed the deal for the Aussies.

Now the team will turn their attention towards Paris, where they will be looking to bring home a gold medal for the first time in Olympic history.

There are some fresh and familiar faces among the 26-player squad, and one extremely surprising inclusion.

That would be Lauren Jackson, who announced immediately after the win over Germany that she would be retiring from international basketball effective immediately. Although it was a disappointing result for Australia at the time, it may not be the case as she has been named for the Paris games as it stands, and she has shown that despite being 42 years of age, she can still win a game off her own hands.

Among the experienced faces are a batch of exciting up and comers, with the trio of Jade Melbourne, Isobel Borlase and Georgia Amoore, all of whom will have announced themselves as the future of Australian basketball.

Melbourne and Borlase were recently apart of the Opals team that booked a spot at the Olympic Games, and have both been excelling within the WNBL this season, while Amoore has made a name for herself as a college star in the United States.

The biggest exclusion was Sara Blicavs, who recently underwent surgery after the WNBL season wrapped.

Opals head coach Sandy Brondello says there is a feeling of relief after picking the Olympic team.

“It’s always an exciting time to announce an Olympic squad and I congratulate all the athletes. They all know what it means to play for Australia, and they all want the opportunity to represent their country at an Olympics,” Brondello said.

“Our squad is full of exceptional talent, and they will make the decision to pick a final 12 very difficult. We have Canada, Nigeria and France in our pool, so we are focused on that and what is required to get onto the podium.”

The team will now begin training camps and scrimmages to determine the final 12-player squad.

Australian Opals squad

Rebecca Allen
Zitina Aokuso
Georgia Amoore
Amy Atwell
Chloe Bibby
Isobel Borlase
Keely Froling
Darcee Garbin
Cayla George
Shyla Heal
Lauren Jackson
Alice Kunek
Tess Madgen
Eziyoda Magbegor
Anneli Maley
Lauren Nicholson
Steph Reid
Maddison Rocci
Lauren Scherf
Alex Sharp
Alanna Smith
Stephanie Talbot
Marianna Tolo
Kristy Wallace
Sami Whitcomb

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