Former NBL coach and FIBA Under-19 men’s gold medal coach Rob Beveridge will lead the men while FIBA Under-17 gold medal winning coach and former WNBL Coach of the Year Shannon Seebohm will take the reins of the women’s team.
The World University Games will take place between July 3-14 in Naples, Italy and the Emerging Boomers and Opals teams will consist of players currently completing their tertiary studies.
“I have had the opportunity to represent my country in the past and I am thrilled that I have been given the opportunity to do so again,” said Beveridge.
A Championship winning coach and respected mentor, Beveridge comes into the role following head coaching stints in the NBL with West Sydney, Perth and Illawarra while he guided the Australian Emus to an historic gold medal at the 2003 Under-19 World Championships.
Beveridge was also an assistant with the Rollers when they won silver at the 2000 Paralympics and with the Boomers at the 2004 Olympics, 2006 World Championships and 2006 Commonwealth Games while he most recently led Scotland at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
“Our preparation for the World Uni Games will involve selecting a team of high-character, hard-nosed and competitive players that will wear the green and gold with pride,” said Beveridge.
“We have started to look at every eligible player in the USA college system and those that are playing in the NBL to put together a competitive team.”
A former Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence athlete, Seebohm made a seamless transition to coaching as he led the Sydney Uni Flames to a playoff berth in the WNBL while taking the Australian Sapphires to a bronze and gold medal at the last two FIBA Under-17 World Championships.
“Australian women’s basketball has a rich tradition of success on the international stage and I am looking forward to working with the next group of potential Opals coming through the pathway,” added Seebohm.
Winning gold in 2017 with a team that included Kristy Wallace, Lauren Scherf, Darcee Garbin, Alex Wilson and Keely Froling, the Emerging Opals are the defending Champions at the World University Games.
They also won gold in 2007 as well as bronze medals in 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2013 while the Emerging Boomers claimed silver in 2013.
“2017 was a very impressive performance from the Emerging Opals and something we will be striving to mirror,” said Seebohm.
“I don’t think it adds any extra pressure though, Australian teams always expect to do well at international events.”
The World University Games reflects an Olympic atmosphere for the athletes as they will play most of their games with minimal days off and live in the Games village.
“This opportunity to represent your country and be exposed to that type of environment is incredible and will assist the players with their ongoing development,” said Beveridge.
“I have heard that the atmosphere at the Games is amazing and I am looking forward to getting to experience it first-hand,” added Seebohm.
“The more opportunities our players get to play international games in this type of environment can be very powerful and hopefully it encourages them to strive for more opportunities at the senior level.”