Earlier today, Basketball Australia announced the roster for the Australian under-25 women’s national wheelchair basketball team scheduled to compete at the 2015 IWBF World Championships that get underway on June 29 in Beijing. The squad includes Natalie Alexander, Georgia Bishop-Cash, Jessica Cronje, Hannah Dodd, Georgia Inglis, Amber Merritt, Georgia Munro-Cook, Catherine Nelson, Ella Sabljak, and Sarah Vinci.
National team coach David Gould was quoted by Basketball Australia as saying, “We are hoping to go one better than our 2011 result when we achieved silver. […] With three girls returning for their second Under-25 World Championships, we have a mix of experience and youth. Amber Merritt and Sarah Vinci represented Australia at the 2012 Paralympics. This squad also includes some exciting newcomers who have come through our development pathway such as Georgia Munro-Cook, Jess Cronje and Georgia Bishop-Cash.
“Our goal is always to have pressure from beneath. No one owns their spot in the team. We will have our last training camp over the weekend where will be working on our final preparation before heading to Beijing at the end of the month.
“All the girls have been working extremely hard individually and as a team over the last twelve months and are looking forward to the challenge of taking on the world.”
Dodd, Cronje and Nelson all play domestically for Sydney Uni Flames Wheelchair Basketball Team. Sabljak and Bishop-Cash both play for the Minecraft Comets. Four of the players are from Western Australia, where there has been a tense situation involving the top level wheelchair basketball club in the state and Basketball Australia. Amber Merritt and Sarah Vinci were involved in signing a letter criticizing actions taken by the organization, and players expressed concern that this might jeopardize potential team selection.
The team is scheduled to depart in two weeks for Beijing, a few days ahead of the competition.