• The just announced line-up for the women's basketball team set for Rio is a mix of experience and youth (Own)Source: Own
Our women’s basketball team has stood on the podium five straight Games, but are yet to claim gold. Will the new line-up change this?
By
Sophie Verass

Source:
Australian Olympic Committee, Zela
12 Jul 2016 - 2:25 PM  UPDATED 21 Jul 2016 - 12:17 PM

Heading to Rio is a mix of returning Olympians, like Laura Hodges, Elizabeth Cambage and Rachel Jarry, who won bronze in London 2012, and Erin Phillips and Penny Taylor will make their return to Olympic competition.

They’re now joined by Olympic debutants Marianna Tolo, Katie-Rae Ebzery, Natalie Burton, Tessa Lavey, Leilani Mitchell, Stephanie Talbot and Cayla George.

"This team is really versatile, with experience alongside the youth, who have so much athleticism and talent."

“We’ve been working so hard for the last year – there is so much talent in Australian basketball and it would have been really tough for the coaches to only pick 12 players,” said Hodges during a press conference. “This team is really versatile, with experience alongside the youth, who have so much athleticism and talent. We are a strong unit but we know we need to lift the intensity even more in this last month.”

Penny Taylor believes that the strength, determination and focus of this side will give them every chance of making history in Rio - finally getting a gold medal.

“Gold is always the goal at an Olympic Games but we know there is a long way to getting the chance to play for that gold medal,” said the dual Olympic silver medallist.”

So who’s representing Australia in Basketball?

From finance graduates to girls from the country, we’ve added some interesting facts about the players too. 

Nat Burton

Nat has a degree in finance. Nat was a part of the prestigious West Virginia University basketball program in the U.S and graduated in 2012.

 

Elizabeth Cambage

Liz is politically engaged and uses her profile for advocacy and activism

Liz highlights and speak out against social justices far beyond teammate Alice Kunek’s Kanye West costume.

Liz Cambage stands tall on issues of race
When Liz Cambage raised the issue of racially and culturally insensitive behaviour, an opportunity was lost to have a progressive discussion

She was recently a spokesperson for supporting local farmers and often Tweets about issues around race and gender.

… Oh, and she was the first women to even dunk at the Olympics!

 

Katie-Rae Ebzery

Before a game, Katie always straps her left ankle before her right.

Cayla George

Cayla has a soy candle business on the side.

Laura Hodges

Laura is a big Adelaide Crows fan.

So much so, they’re pals.

Rachel Jarry

Rachel says a bit of Drake or Kanye gets her going before a match.

Quick shots from left field: Rachel Jarry
Australian Opal Rachel Jarry's just home from a European tour on the Road to Rio so she had some spare time to answer our questions.

Tessa Lavey

Tess has a little sausage dog puppy… And thankfully, Instagrams him a lot!

 

Leilani Mitchell

Leilani has dual Australian-American citizenship.

Her mum is originally from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, and although Leilani is half Australian and plays for the nation’s Olympic team, growing up, she had only been to Australia twice!

She is also the only girl in the family, with five brothers. 

Erin Phillips

Erin is the daughter of Port Adelaide player and AFL legend, Greg Phillips

Stephanie Talbot

Stephanie was born in the remote town of Katherine, about 300 km south of Darwin and grew up in Kadina, SA, 100 or so km from Adelaide. She had to travel to Adelaide to play in junior nationals, which is where she was scouted by the AIS in an Under-12s tournament.

Penny Taylor

Penny is first generation Australian and was born to English parents. She holds both, a British and an Australian passport.

In the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women Taylor was named Most Valuable Player.

Marianna Tolo

Hats off to the chef! Marianna “loves food” and likes to promote her efforts in the kitchen


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