Annie La Fleur helped launch Australian women’s basketball into the international big time, as the sport experienced unparalleled success during her career.
Fittingly, the woman known as ‘Flash’ for most of her career, helped speed up the women’s game in Australia, kick-started by a bronze medal in the 1989 FIBA U19 World Championships.
This was the first of many break-through performances by Australian teams during her career – 127 games at the senior level – establishing the Opals as a force to be reckoned with on the world stage.
Annie played in two World Championships, and was part of the history-making team that broke through for Australia’s first medal at that level – winning bronze in 1998.
She was also part of the team that brought home Australia’s first Olympic medal, winning silver at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Annie also had a decorated domestic basketball career, winning WNBL Championship’s with the Flames in 1993, 1997 and with the Sydney Panthers 2000/01.
She played 240 games in the WNBL and also played in the WNBA, signed by the Minnesota Lynx in 1999 and playing for the Washington Mystics in the 2001 – 2003 seasons.
Since retiring Annie has continued to be a great ambassador for the sport both in Australia and in the Oceania region, where she runs coaching clinics, mentored coaches and provided pathways for young athletes to follow their dream.