Since finishing sixth at the 2018 IWBF World Championships in Germany, the USA have had an injection of experienced 2016 Rio Paralympic campaigners in Rebecca Murray, Natalie Schneider, Megan Blunk and Darlene Hunter.
They are also coming off a gold medal at the IWBF Under-25 World Championships where they beat Australia in the final and will be bringing their strongest possible line-up to take on the Gliders.
For Australia, Annabelle Lindsay will back up from a very strong performance at the IWBF Under-25 World Championships where she helped the Devils claim a silver medal by finishing as the tournament’s leading scorer, sitting in the top 10 for rebounds and earning a spot in the All-Star Five.
In addition to Lindsay, the Gliders will be looking to high-point players Georgia Munro-Cook, Teisha Shadwell and Amber Merritt to provide more opportunities offensively while the mid-point line-up of Maryanne Latu, Georgia Inglis and Shelley Cronau will deliver flexibility in coach David Gould’s line-ups.
“This is a great opportunity for our Gliders to go up against one of the best teams in the world,” said Gould.
“USA will provide great competition which will give the Gliders opportunities to continue to work on our game style and structures.
“We will use this nine-day training camp and international series to work on different combinations and I’m really excited to have the whole squad together including some overseas players fighting for selection.”
During the international friendly series, the Gliders and USA will also split their squads into four teams to compete in the first 3×3 international wheelchair basketball tournament for either country.
Australia will utilise the international series as a selection camp for a tour of Tokyo in August for the Mitsubishi Electric Cup tournament.
“We will take a lot of learnings from the games against the USA which will also assist us with preparing and developing the group for the AOZ Qualifiers ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics,” said Gould.
The Australian Gliders squad for the international series vs. USA:
|NAME||CLASSIFICATION||State / NIN|
|Natalie Alexander||2.5||Western Australia / WAIS|
|Georgia Bishop-Cash||4.0||Queensland / QAS|
|Shelley Cronau||2.5||Queensland / QAS|
|Jessica Cronje||4.0||New South Wales / NSWIS|
|Hannah Dodd||1.0||New South Wales / NSWIS|
|Mary Friday||1.0||Western Australia / WAIS|
|Georgia Inglis||2.5||Western Australia / WAIS|
|Maryanne Latu||2.5||New South Wales / NSWIS|
|Annabelle Lindsay||4.5||ACT / ACTAS|
|Amber Merritt||4.5||Western Australia / WAIS|
|Georgia Munro-Cook||4.5||New South Wales / NSWIS|
|Taishar Ovens||1.0||Western Australia / WAIS|
|Ella Sabljak||1.0||Queensland / QAS|
|David Gould||Head Coach||South Australia|
|Craig Campbell||Assistant Technical Coach||Victoria|
|Stephen Charlton||Assistant Coach||Western Australia|
|Cathy Lambert||Team Manager||South Australia|
|Murray Treseder||Gliders program lead||Western Australia|
|Karen Haddad||Performance Psychologist||NSWIS|
|Sarah Graham||Assistant Coach||NSWIS|
|Michael Speranza||S&C Program Lead||AIS|
|Kris Thiesfield||S&C Coach||University Sunshine Coast|
The Australian Gliders schedule for the international series vs. USA (all times AEST):
June 28: Game 1 vs. USA at 2pm
June 29: Game 2 vs. USA at 10am
June 30: Game 3 vs. USA at 2.30pm
July 1: Game 4 vs. USA at 3pm
July 2: 3×3 international series vs. USA at 9.15am
July 3: Game 5 vs. USA at 10am
July 4: Game 6 vs. USA at 9am