WNBL-Heavy Lineup for Olympic Qualifiers

January 17, 2024 | WNBL news

Written by Corey Kennedy 

Basketball Australia has today announced a 12-player team ahead of February’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament where the Seven Consulting Opals will look to punch their ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics.


The Opals are in Group A for the tournament in Belem, Brazil where they will play the host nation, Germany and Serbia from February 8 to 11.


Eight of the 12 players named in the team are currently playing in the WNBL, once again highlighting the elite level talent the league has on offer.


Headlining the team are experienced Olympians Tess Madgen (Sydney Flames), Cayla George (Sydney Flames) and Lauren Jackson (Southside Flyers).


Townsville’s ladder leading Captain and Vice-Captain, Sami Whitcomb and Steph Reid, who will make her debut, will head to Brazil full of confidence.


Sara Blicavs has continued her strong start to the season and has helped lead the Melbourne Boomers to second place on the ladder.


Rounding out the team are rising stars Jade Melbourne (UC Capitals) and 19-year-old Isobel Borlase (Adelaide Lighting), who will also make her senior national team debut.


Tess Madgen said the team would harness the meaning of the uniform and the women who had gone before them as the Opals strive to qualify for another Olympic campaign.


“Qualifiers are always tough, the competition continues to improve, we have long distances to travel and limited time to prepare but we know how to win and the green and gold always brings out the best in us.”

Melbourne said she was thrilled to be selected.


“Playing for the Opals is the pinnacle for me. I can’t wait to get on the plane, get to Brazil and do whatever I can to help the team qualify for Paris.


“I’m super excited to embark on this journey with Izzy Borlase, we were room mates at the Under-19 World Cup and are so happy for each other.”


The Australian-based Opals will fly to Brazil on January 30 where they will link up with coach Sandy Brondello and Europe-based players Mariana Tolo, Ezi Magbegor and Alanna Smith.


In a further testament to the quality of the league, the three assistant coaches to Sandy Brondello are current WNBL coaches – Cheryl Chambers (Southside Flyers) , Paul Goriss (UC Capitals), Shannon Seebohm (Townsville Fire).


Congratulations to all the athletes on the selection in the team, and make sure to tune into the Cygnett WNBL to see them in action.


Seven Consulting Opals Team

Rebecca Allen

Sara Blicavs (Melbourne Boomers)

Isobel Borlase (Adelaide Lightning)

Cayla George (Sydney Flames)

Lauren Jackson (Southside Flyers)

Tess Madgen (Sydney Flames)

Ezi Magbegor

Jade Melbourne (UC Capitals)

Stephanie Reid (Townsville Fire)

Alanna Smith

Marianna Tolo

Samantha Whitcomb (Townsville Fire)


Assistant Coaches: Cheryl Chambers, Paul Goriss, Shannon Seebohm


Game Schedule

Brazil v Australia Thursday 8 February

Australia v Germany Saturday 10 February

Serbia v Australia Sunday 11 February


All games will be broadcast on ESPN.



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