Nunawading Basketball stars Rebecca Allen, Rebecca Cole, Jenna O’Hea and Alanna Smith headline the Australian Opals 19-player Olympic squad set to attend camp on the Gold Coast later this month.
The Opals booked their ticket to the Tokyo Olympics at the recent Olympic Qualifying Event in Bourges, France. Australia opened their 3-game schedule with a loss to host nation France before notching wins over Puerto Rico and Brazil.
“We are excited to have secured our spot for Tokyo and look forward to working hard over the next five months to ensure we are ready to play our best basketball,” says Opals Head Coach Sandy Brondello, who will be coaching her first Olympics after attending three as a player.
“With that in mind, we are thrilled to name our Olympic Squad, which we believe to be very strong with great versatility, depth and size. The first step of our preparation will begin next month with a camp on the Gold Coast. The coaches and I are anticipating some tough decisions in naming the final team.”
Both Allen (New York Liberty) and Smith (Phoenix Mercury) are expected to spend the majority of the 2020 schedule in the WNBA, whilst Cole and O’Hea are currently contesting the WNBL Grand Final Series with the Southside Flyers.
2020 is shaping up as a big year for Cole, who heavily features in Australia’s 3×3 plans for Olympic qualification. Widely considered as one of the best 3×3 players in the world, Cole’s outstanding form this WNBL season has seen her re-introduced to the Opals mix also.
The 19-strong squad will be reduced to 12-women ahead of the Olympic Games, final selections are scheduled for June.
Nunawading Basketball is the only association Australia-wide that features four representatives in the Women’s National Team, a testament to both the talent and character of all four athletes.
Rebecca Allen, Arka Gdynia Poland / New York Liberty
Rebecca Cole, Southside Flyers
Jenna O’Hea, Southside Flyers
Alanna Smith, Incheon Shinhan Bank S-Birds / Phoenix Mercury