Basketball in Australia
"The Opals are not just gems mate - they are our Golden Girls!"
There are Indoor Stadiums and Outdoor Courts all over Australia
While NETBALL has long been the conventional winter sport for young girls and women, Basketball has steadily grown to be popular in schools among the boys.
However as is true in many sports Aussie girls are also playing the game for quite a while now with the Australian Opals womens national team winning nine medals at World Championships and Olympic Games (to end 2017). The highlight of course was winning Gold at the 2006 World Championships making household names of Lauren Jackson, Penny Taylor and Holly Grima; adding to the many names before. It was the women who in fact won the first ever basketball medal for Australia in either World Championships or Olympics with a bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics with a team led by captain Robyn Maher and which featured Rachael Sporn, Trisha Fallon, Michelle Brogan, Allison Tranquilli, Sandy Brondello, Annie La Fleur and Jenny Whittle.
And as is the case in the mens version Australian women are also making a name for themselves in the big American and European leagues winning 'MVP' and premiership medals with Michelle Timms regarded by many as our greatest basketball export, though that is being challenged by a large group of young men and women in todays top leagues.
Although mostly regarded as a 'big mans' sport smaller Aussies, both men and women, have shown a great capacity of 'holding their own' amongst the bigger frames of the big leagues due to their mental toughness, competitiveness, talent and sheer agility and 'ball smarts', something few Australian kids are without. After all, most Aussie kids grow up with some sort of ball in their hands most of the time!
2006 World Championships Gold Medal Winning Australian Opals
By FIBA (Email from Simon Wilkinson at FIBA) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons