Brydens Flames captain and starting shooting guard Katie Ebzery has been chosen for the Australian Opals first training camp in preparation for the Rio Olympics.
Returning head coach Brendan Joyce and the Opals’ support staff has named 18 players they would like to see at the first camp. The squad began with 27 players, but due to injuries, unavailability and exclusion they came to a list of 18 for this camp who they believe all have the potential to make the final squad.
The camp will run from March 29th to April 3rd and will be held at Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra. This camp will be the first of four selection camps spanning from March through to July, in which a maximum of 20 players will participate in each camp.
These camps will serve as the Opals’ final selection camps before picking the team to represent Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The next three camps are scheduled to be held in late April in Gosford, late June in Canberra and early July in the Gold Coast.
Ebzery’s selection comes off the back of a stellar 2015/16 Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season where she had career highs in points, rebounds, assists and steals. She was also fifth in the league in scoring at 17.7ppg and in assists at 4apg, whilst leading the league in free throws made with 97. To add to her personal accolades for the season she received the Flames’ Most Valuable Player award for a second straight year and was named in the WNBL All-Star Five.
Katie has been working hard on her game since the conclusion of the Flames’ WNBL season a little over a month ago. She has been working out on court with Brydens Flames coach Shannon Seebohm and in the weight room with the Flames’ strength and conditioning staff. Katie also plans to return home to play selected home games for the Newcastle Hunters in the Waratah League to keep match fitness and touch in preparation for further Opals camps.
Despite the squad’s depth, Katie will fall back on her Opals experience to help her crack the team. She played with the Opals in a two-game series against New Zealand in August last year which served as qualifying games for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Opals qualified by winning both games in which Katie had averages of 6 points in 19 minutes of play.
Good luck Katie!