Opals Olympic Camp a Success

Opals Olympic Camp a Success

Basketball Australia’s women’s Olympic head coach Sandy Brondello and captain Jenna O’Hea have declared last week’s Opals Olympic training camp on the Gold Coast in Queensland a success.

The Olympic Squad comprises of 22 athletes, with the sixteen who currently reside in Australia gathering on the Gold Coast for the week-long camp to prepare for the re-scheduled Tokyo Olympics, now less than four months away.

“Coming back into the Opal’s great environment and culture is so enjoyable and we had a fantastic week both on and off the court,” said head coach Sandy Brondello. “This was our last camp with an extended group, and it was critical for our preparations for the Olympics.

“The camp was of an exceptionally high standard and importantly enabled us to build our chemistry for the journey ahead.

“It was important for us to utilise every single moment on the court to ensure that we are familiar with the system that we play in and our team-work.

“Implementing and becoming consistent with our systems was a feature of the week and all of the athletes have shone at different times which was really pleasing,” added Brondello.

Captain Jenna O’Hea equally as impressed with the camp as her coach.

“It was really great to have the majority of the group together again and it was good to see the newer squad members fitting in so well with the familiar and more experienced players,” said O’Hea.

“It is a big year for us with minimal time to prepare, so this was a really important camp for us all and we are very happy with what we have achieved this week.

The camp involved not only on court and gym sessions, but also workshops with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Olympic Gold Medallists, as part of the Australian Institute of Sport’s Gold Medal Ready Program.

“Listening to Ian Chesterman the Chef de Mission for the AOC talk to us about the Games and having the former Olympians come in and chat to us really added to the week and reminded us of just how close the Games now are and how much we all want to be there,” added O’Hea.

“Sitting and listening to the gold medallists (Ken Wallace - Kayak; Sara Carrigan – Cycling; Jo Clark - Water Polo) share their stories was inspiring and gave me goosebumps. We all left that session with valuable and knowledge from their experiences.

The women’s basketball competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be contested between 26 July – 8 August 2021 at Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo and features 12 countries.

2020 Australian Women’s Olympic Squad 

Athlete’s Name  2020 WNBL Club / Current Overseas Club /2021 WNBA Club
Rebecca Allen* Valencia Basket (Spain)
Zitina Aokuso JCU Townsville Fire
Sara Blicavs Jayco Southside Flyers
Liz Cambage* Jayco Southside Flyers / Las Vegas Aces (WNBA)
Rebecca Cole Jayco Southside Flyers
Katie-Rae Ebzery Perth Lynx
Darcee Garbin Perth Lynx
Cayla George Deakin Melbourne Boomers
Shyla Heal JCU Townsville Fire
Tessa Lavey Villawood Properties Bendigo Spirit
Tess Madgen Deakin Melbourne Boomers
Ezi Magbegor Deakin Melbourne Boomers / Seattle Storm (WNBA)
Tiana Mangakahia* Syracuse University (USA)
Leilani Mitchell Jayco Southside Flyers / Washington Mystics (WNBA)
Lauren Nicholson JCU Townsville Fire
Jenna O’Hea Jayco Southside Flyers
Maddison Rocci UC Capitals
Jaz Shelley* University of Oregon (USA)
Alanna Smith Adelaide Lightning
Stephanie Talbot Adelaide Lightning / Seattle Storm (WNBA)
Marianna Tolo* UC Capitals
Sami Whitcomb* Galatasaray (Turkey) / New York Liberty (WNBA)

*Denotes those athletes not able to attend this camp on the Gold Coast due to commitments abroad or due to injury.


Image - Basketball Australia/Lauri Jean Walker