Australian World Uni Games basketball teams depart for Thailand

Australian World Uni Games basketball teams depart for Thailand

The Australian men’s and women’s basketball teams selected to represent Australia at the 2007 World University Summer Games will depart Sydney at 4:40pm today on flight BA10 bound for Thailand.   The World University Games are held every two years

The Australian men’s and women’s basketball teams selected to represent Australia at the 2007 World University Summer Games will depart Sydney at 4:40pm today on flight BA10 bound for Thailand.  

The World University Games are held every two years under the patronage of the International University Sport Federation (FISU) and in 2007 will take place between August 8 and 18 in Bangkok.


2007 defencejobs Opals squad members Eva Afeaki and Samantha Richards, and Sapphires World Championship silver medalist Chantella Perera, head the 12-member women’s team, which includes ten players from the defencejobs Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) and three athletes based at American colleges.

“This is a very good team and we are confident that they will be in medal contention at the games,” Basketball Australia General Manager of National Teams and Competitions Lorraine Landon said. 

The team will be coached by five-time defencejobs WNBL championship winning coach Carrie Graf, the current head coach of the Canberra Capitals.

Hannah Zavecz (University of Wyoming, USA) and Eleanor Haring (University of Oregon, USA) were named in the original squad on June 6 but have since withdrawn due to injury, with Tanya Smith (University of Hawaii) and Perera (Dandenong Rangers) elevated from the reserves list. 

“I haven’t seen the full team yet but the plus is that three quarters of the team are current WNBL players who play big minutes that I either coach or coach against.

“The goal is to win the gold medal.

“It is going to be very hot and the humidity is going to be high so our recovery, hydration and acclimatization will be critical.”

The first women’s game is scheduled for August 8 against Brazil at 8:30pm local time while the men’s team will face Korea on August 7 at 4:30pm local time.

The talented men’s team will be led by NBL Championship winning Head Coach Bruce Palmer and includes athletes with national and international basketball experience, many of whom are currently on scholarships with elite American college programs.

“We have been able to assemble a talented and balanced roster that will provide Australia with a solid opportunity to win a medal in the men’s competition at this international event,” Palmer said.

The 2007 Australian University Women’s basketball team:

Name/Height/Club

Eva Afeaki               183cm          Sydney Uni Flames

Samantha Richards   170cm          Dandenong Rangers
Jessica Foley            182cm          Adelaide Lightning
Shelley Hammonds    187cm          Dandenong Rangers
Georgia Woodyard    187cm          Sydney Uni Flames
Kelly Wilson             168cm          Townsville Fire
Melissa Smith           186cm          Sydney Uni Flames
Lauren King             182cm          Adelaide Lightning
Natalie Hurst            163cm          Canberra Capitals
Rachel Warren         190cm          University of Portland, USA
Tanya Smith            190cm          University of Hawaii, USA
Laura Thomas          182cm          University of Portland, USA
Chantella Perera       174cm          Dandenong Rangers

Head Coach: Carrie Graf (Canberra Capitals)

Assistant Coach: David Herbert

Manager: Kirstie Dench


The 2007 Australian University Men’s basketball team:

Name/State/Club

Ben Allen                 VIC     University of Indiana

Ryan Bathie             VIC     Nicholls State University

Aron Baynes            QLD    Washington State University

Stefan Blasczcynski   NSW   Nicholls State University

Mitch Brennan          NSW    Mercyhurst College

Luke Cooper            VIC     University of Alaska – Anchorage

Carlin Hughes           WA     St. Mary’s College – California

Martin Iti                 WA     New Mexico State University

Marcus Ng               SA      University of Adelaide (Adelaide 36ers)

Liam Norton             VIC     University of Melbourne (Melbourne Tigers)

Alex Opacic              NSW   Furman University

Lucas Walker           NSW   St. Mary’s College – California

Head Coach: Bruce Palmer

Assistant Coach: Paul Mesecke (SA)

Manager: Greg Warnecke (VIC)

The event will be men’s assistant coach Paul Mesecke’s first and team manager Greg Warnecke’s third University Games campaign.

The entire Australian World University Games Team involves over 150 athletes and officials participating across 15 sports.