Two Canberrans get shot at Opals spot

Two Canberrans get shot at Opals spot

Post by Kim Callaha » Tue, 17 Apr 2001 06:00:39

Two Canberrans get shot at Opals spot
By David Kirkpatrick
Canberra Times

Canberra's Kristen Veal and Eleanor Sharp will attend an Australian Opals
training camp in Adelaide beginning next Friday.

The camp is in preparation for next month's East Asian Games, the Opals'
first major hit-out since winning the silver medal at the Sydney Olympics.

The 18-member squad will be missing some established stars who either have
overseas commitments or have elected to have a rest.

Canberra's Shelley Sandie and Lauren Jackson are two notable absences from
the squad for the five-day camp.

It will be the first camp under the direction of new coach Jan Stirling.

"The focus for this camp has been on emerging players within the Opals
squad," Stirling said.

"We have focused on those players who will be available for the East Asian
Games.

"Some senior players who are based in Adelaide will provide invaluable
experience for the young group throughout the camp."

The Opals will play four practice games against the Japanese national team
to give the camp an extra edge.

Players attending the training camp include: Suzy Batkovic, Carla Boyd,
Tracey Braithwaite, Michelle Brogan, Allie Douglas, Narelle Fletcher,
Natalie Hughes, Jae Kingi, Emily McInerny, Alison O'Dwyer, Natalie Porter,
Deanna Smith, Belinda Snell, Rachael S***, Gina Stevens, Penny Taylor, Veal
and Sharp.

WITH the American Women's National Basketball Association draft less than a
week away, the 16 coaches have given their assessments of prospective draft
picks.

Canberra Capitals centre Lauren Jackson is expected to be selected No 1 in
the draft, which takes place next Friday.

Seattle Storm has the No 1 draft selection and coach Lin Dunn said she was
after someone who could rebound and score.

"That's the No 1 priority - we need rebounds, we need points," she said.

"I am looking closely at Lauren Jackson, Tameka Catchings, [Svetlana]
Abrosimova, Ruth Riley, Jackie Stiles - those are the ones in my final five.

"I would entertain trading that first pick if I thought I could get two or
three quality players for the pick because I think the pick is of that
value."

Dunn said she had held talks with several clubs interested in a trade.

"We really haven't had a lot of firm talks because everyone is waiting to
see if Lauren Jackson is going to come into the league or not," she said.

"If she comes in, that would certainly affect the value of the pick because
she is so good."

Jackson told The Canberra Times last week that she was ready to play again
and would enter next week's draft.