January 18, 2024 | Townsville Fire news

Steph Reid’s officially an Opal after being selected for next month’s Olympic Qualifiers. The point guard played friendlies against Japan 2 years go but is yet to feature for Australia at a tournament. Her latest conservation with Coach Sandy Brondello was once again emotional, this time though, there were tears of joy.

“This is the first time I’ve been selected in the team with everyone in consideration and this will be my first ever FIBA event. I’ve never had a phone call where Sandy’s been congratulating me and not cutting me, so I really enjoyed that. I don’t know if she knew but I was definitely crying on the phone.”

Using the pain of previous chats as motivation to turn rejection into redemption, the Fire’s floor general improved one aspect of her game, guaranteeing she wouldn’t be overlooked for crucial clashes with Brazil, Serbia and Germany.

“I’ve worked on what she told me to work on which was my shooting, so I think that’s what probably got me over the line, and that was her words not mine so yeah I’ll go with that.”

Reid’s ready to step up in South America, knowing a strong showing would her help push to become an Olympian, in Paris later this year.

“I mean we’ve got to get their first, but this is just being one step closer for me and I’m not putting pressure on myself I’m just excited for the opportunity and grateful to have it. “I’ll be making sure I work really hard leading into it and go over there and play the basketball that’s got me there in the first place.”

Sami Whitcomb’s one of eight players retained from the 2022 World Championships Bronze medal winning side.

“That was probably one of my favourite experiences in basketball. I loved my time with the Opals and I’m really excited at the prospect of another tournament.”

 Townsville’s captain has shown a strong mentality to overcome her Olympic omission from the Tokyo Games, after being overlooked for the sole naturalised Australian spot.

“Going to the Olympics is sort of that last real big carrot that I’ve been chasing for a long time yeah.”

The Opals must finish third or higher in their pool to punch their ticket to Paris.

Joining Steph and Sami in Brazil, will be Fire Head Coach Shannon Seebohm and Head of High Performance Brent Goriss, the inclusion of the Fire’s staff is credit to their hard work and dedication and we extend a huge congratulations to the m both.

They’ll face Brazil first up on February 8.