Sapphires set for upcoming World Cup

THE next crop of talented young Australian basketballers are set to compete at the Under-17 FIBA World Cup, with the Sapphires locking in their squad for the tournament.

Set to be held in Mexico, the World Cup will host the best nations at under-17 level as they lock horns in a terrific showcase of up and coming talent in the female basketball world.

As expected the Aussies have named a strong squad for Mexico, with plenty of established talent on the 12-player roster.

There is already an abundance of championship pedigree on the team, with recent NSW Metro gold medalists Jessie-May Hall, Ruby Perkins, Erica Finney and Zoe Jackson all heading to Mexico. All four players were crucial for their side’s successful campaign, and will have equally important roles to play at international level.

While there has been representation from several states, NSW Forward Jade Crook also joining the team to showcase how strong the basketball system is in New South Wales.

From Victoria, Emiljia Dakic, Sitaya Fagan and Madison Ryan will don the green and gold, while Queensland has representation from Prasayus Notoa and South Australian guns Sienna Lehmann and Lara Somfai will also make the trip.

ACT young gun Zara Russell has been named too, an exciting reward after a strong performance at NBL1 level last week, where she was the subject of our player focus.


Head coach Tom Garlepp said there was plenty of work put into the selection process for the team.

“Through two camps and the U18 National Championships, we both evaluated and challenged the athletes through different scenarios to test their ability to play on the world stage with the goal of finding a group that will function most successfully with the preparation provided,” Garlepp said. 

“Selections are always challenging and on account of what we felt was a very deep squad, we knew we had to be diligent with our assessments across the trial process and we feel happy with how we emerged from this.

“The USA will be tough on both ends as usual, and our focus and preparation will centre around competing and being the best we can be.  I think when you have the opportunity to play at a World Cup against strong sides such as these, you get the opportunity to grow and sharpen your game and we are excited about that.” 

Game 1: 13 July, Australia v USA, 20:00 (02:00am GMT +1) 

Game 2: 14 July, Croatia v Australia, 20:00 (02:00am GMT +1) 

Game 3: 16 July, Puerto Rico v Australia, 16:00 (21:00 GMT) 

Australian Sapphires Squad

Jade Crook (NSW)
Emilija Dakic (VIC)
Sitaya Fagan (VIC)
Erica Finney (NSW)
Jessie-May Hall (NSW)
Zoe Jackson (NSW)
Sienna Lehmann (SA)
Prasayus Notoa (QLD)
Ruby Perkins (NSW)
Zara Russell (ACT)
Madison Ryan (VIC)
Lara Somfai (SA)

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