Olympian Laura Hodges has been included in a strong Australian Opals squad that will attend a selection camp ahead of the FIBA Women's Asia Cup.
Olympian Laura Hodges has been included in a strong Australian Opals squad that will attend a selection camp ahead of the FIBA Women's Asia Cup. ROSS SETFORD

Selectors name Opals stars for Asia Cup camp

BASKETBALL: With the FIBA Women's Asia Cup drawing nearer, an Australia Opals squad has been chosen to attend a selection camp.

The camp will be held in Phoenix, Arizona from June 25 to July 3 and will feature six members of the Opals' Rio Olympic team.

Erin Phillips, Marianna Tolo, Tessa Lavey, Rachel Jarry, Laura Hodges and Katie-Rae Ebzery headline the squad, and they;'ll be joined by some of the WNBL's Australian talent.

Abby Bishop, Sara Blicavs, Maddie Garrick, Alice Kunek, Carley Mijovic, Kelsey Griffin, Stephanie Blicavs (nee Cumming), Jenna O'Hea and Louella Tomlinson are among the selections, as well as Natalie Hurst, Alex Bunton and Lauren Mansfield.

Among Australia's brightest young stars, Kristy Wallace and Alanna Smith will attend the camp, with the selections rounded out by one of the country's most celebrated Opals: three-time Olympian Belinda Snell.

With new Opals head coach Sandy Brondello unavailable for the camp due to WNBA commitments, the team's assistant coaches, Paul Goriss and Cheryl Chambers, will lead the way.

"With the experience of players such as Snell, Phillips and Hodges alongside WNBA and European players in Jarry, O'Hea and Hurst, it will be a very tough and competitive camp," Goriss said.

"The young brigade is also coming through in the form of Wallace and Smith who have both had outstanding years at USA colleges, while the WNBL contingent have been recognised for their form and performances during last season."

The FIBA Women's Asia Cup will be held in Bangalore, India, with those who advance to the semi-finals earning immediate qualification for the 2018 FIBA World Cup.

The Opals have been drawn into Group B, which also features Korea, Japan and the Philippines.

The schedule of the FIBA Asia Cup is yet to be finalised but the Opals are prepared to depart for the event on July 17.

News Corp Australia

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