SAPPHIRES SET FOR WORLD CUP

Basketball Australia
Written by Jaylee Ismay
22 May, 2024

The U17 Australian Sapphires team has been locked in ahead of the FIBA U17 World Cup, in Mexico 13-21 July.

The list includes a range of performers from the 2024 Foot Locker U18 National Championships including four standouts from the gold medallists NSW Metro, with Jessie-May Hall (Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Spiders), Ruby Perkins (Norths Bears), Erica Finney (Norths Bears) and Zoe Jackson (Norths Bears) all making the cut. The addition of NSW Country forward Jade Crook (Albury Cougars/CoE) and U20 NSW Head Coach Tom Garlepp (Norths Bears) emphasises the current strength of women’s basketball in NSW.

Head coach Tom Garlepp provided some insights on the selection process for the Sapphires World Cup 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,” said Garlepp. 

“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.” 

There’s a considerable variability listed for the Sapphires and Garlepp believes it will assist in adjusting to the competition.  

“I think this team can play a few different ways through many combinations of players. The girls represent a team that have pushed each other to this point in the journey through their junior careers, and I feel will continue to do so through the world cup and beyond. Most importantly I think that they are a very high character group, they want to be the best they can be individually but also understand the higher importance of team success and as a coach I am very grateful to work with them because of this mindset more than anything,” said Garlepp.

The Sapphires are in Group C of the FIBA U17 World Cup and get a first-hand look at basketball powerhouse USA before fixtures against Croatia and Puerto Rico.  

“We feel lucky to have these challenges early in the tournament,” added Garlepp

“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.” 

FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup, Mexico 2024  
POOL C: Puerto Rico, Australia, USA, Croatia 
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) 

Australia – U17 Sapphires Women – FIBA 2024 World Cup
Jade Crook (NSW) * Sienna Lehmann (SA) *
Emilija Dakic (VIC) * Prasayus Notoa (QLD)
Sitaya Fagan (VIC) * Ruby Perkins (NSW)
Erica Finney (NSW) Zara Russell (ACT) *
Jessie-May Hall (NSW) Madison Ryan (VIC)
Zoe Jackson (NSW) Lara Somfai (SA)

 

Head Coach Assistant Assistant
Tom Garlepp Sarah Graham Nicholas Martin

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