Basketball Australia and Sport Inclusion Australia have announced the ten players selected to represent the Australian Pearls at their home 2019 International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (INAS) Global Games in Brisbane from 12-19 October.
The competition will see the Australian Pearls bring two teams of five players each to defend their 2015 Global Games 3×3 title.
The Australian Pearls first played 3×3 when it was introduced at the last INAS Global Games in Ecuador in 2015.
Coming away with gold and bronze medals, the Pearls added to their history of achievements which has seen them medal in every international competition since winning gold at the 1992 Paralympics.
Ranked first in the world in both formats of the game, the Australian Pearls are the current INAS Global Games champions (5×5), INAS world champions (5×5), INAS Global Games champions (3×3) and INAS world champions (3×3).
“The 3×3 format is expanding in popularity around the world with many World Championships now playing this exciting format of the game we love,” said Pearls team manager, Sally Duncan.
“The rules for 3×3 make the game very fast, very physical and really exciting as a spectator sport.”
The 5th INAS Global Games will be the first time Australia has hosted the tournament and the Pearls are preparing to face teams from Japan, France, Mexico and Israel.
“The Pearls have been a dominant team in both forms of the game for many years now, a testimony to the commitment of players, coaching staff and Basketball Australia,” said Sport Inclusion Australia Chief Executive Officer, Robyn Smith.
“We look forward to watching them shine in front of families and friends on home soil in Brisbane in October.”
The Australian teams were selected following their training camp in Canberra at Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence in mid-June.
“The determination and commitment shown by the squad members has made it very difficult to select the final ten players and all of those trying out should be very proud of their contribution,” said Pearls head coach, Larry Davidson.
The two teams will consist of a contingent of experienced players matched with young talent.
“Senior players such as Mills, Papworth and the Anderson sisters will provide the core structure of our two teams,” said Davidson.
“Other players on their second and third tours will bring another level of experience and excitement into the two teams and we have three new young players who bring a lot of energy to the group.
“Seven of the players have represented Australia at multiple events, making this Australian Pearls team very rich in talent and international experience.”
The Australian Pearls team for the 2019 INAS Global Games:
Larry Davidson- Head Coach
Jo Larkin- Assistant Coach
Sarah Skidmore- Assistant Coach
Sally Duncan- Team Manager
The 2019 INAS Global Games will feature around 1,000 athletes competing in 10 sports in venues around Brisbane. It is the world’s biggest high performance sports event for athletes with intellectual impairments.