Jackson and Screen named Opals Co-Captains for Oceania Championships

Jackson and Screen named Opals Co-Captains for Oceania Championships

Stars of the 2012 London Olympic Games Lauren Jackson and Jenni Screen will lead the Jayco Australian Opals for the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championships, with the duo today named co-captains.

Together, the pair bring more than 25 years of experience in the women’s national team program to the captaincy, sharing six Olympic and five World Championship campaigns between them.

The captains were voted in by their Opals teammates last night ahead of today’s Game One of the FIBA Oceania Championships in Auckland.

A humbled Screen said she was proud to be selected as co-captain alongside Jackson and remains strongly committed to ensuring the on-going success of the Opals program.

“It’s very humbling for me,” Screen said.

“I love this program and I love wearing the green and gold. I feel privileged over my career to have done what I’ve done and most of all create the friendships that I’ve had.

“I just want to create an environment where the girls feel welcome, it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s a winning culture.”

After leading the Opals to the bronze medal in London, Jackson will continue to play a leading role in the team as she returns from a long injury lay-off.

Jackson said it was an honour to be selected by her peers to lead the Opals into battle against New Zealand.

“It’s a huge honour to be selected to captain the Opals,” Jackson said.

“For me it’s about leading, leading the way for the younger players and trying to lead out on the court.”

Fans can watch tonight’s double-header streaming LIVE at www.livesport.tv, with the Opals tipping off at 3:00pm (AEST) and the Boomers at 5:30pm. Catch extended highlights on ABC1 at 11:45pm (AEST).

Game Two of the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championships will see the Jayco Australian Opals take on the New Zealand Tall Ferns, followed the Australian Boomers hosting the New Zealand Tall Blacks on Sunday 18 August at the AIS Arena in Canberra.

Tickets are available through Ticketek at www.ticketek.com.au or call 132 849.

ABC TV will be broadcasting the game LIVE around Australia, with coverage of the Opals beginning at 2:00pm (AEST) and the Boomers at 4:00pm on ABC1.

For all the latest from the Jayco Australian Opals and Australian Boomers in the lead-up to the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championships visit the Basketball Australia website at www.basketball.net.au.

Jayco Australian Opals Team 2013 FIBA Oceania Championships

Name / Height / Position / DOB / Club

Natalie Burton / 194cm / Centre / 23 Mar 1989 / West Coast Waves (WNBL)

Cayla Francis / 192cm / Centre / 1 May 1989 / Nantes (France)

Laura Hodges / 188cm / Forward / 13 December 1983 / Adelaide Lightning (WNBL)

Natalie Hurst / 163cm / Guard / 8 April 1983 / Canberra Capitals (WNBL)

Lauren Jackson / 195cm / Forward / Centre / 11 May 1981 / Free Agent

Tess Madgen / 180cm / Guard / 12 August 1990 / Melbourne Boomers (WNBL)

Jennifer Screen / 180cm / Forward / 24 February 1983 / Adelaide Lightning (WNBL)

Belinda Snell / 180cm / Guard / 10 January 1981 / CCC Polkowice (Poland)

Marianna Tolo / 196cm / Forward-Centre / 2 July 1989 / Bourges Basket (France)

Kristen Veal / 176 cm / Guard / 24 July 1981 / Logan Thunder (WNBL)

Kelly Wilson / 170cm / Guard / 1 January 1985 / Bendigo Spirit (WNBL)

Hanna Zavecz / 183cm / Guard / Forward / 21 August 1985 / Logan Thunder (WNBL)

Head Coach: Brendan Joyce

Assistant Coaches: Damian Cotter, Lori Chizik

Technical Assistant Coach: Scott Butler