Captain Lauren Jackson is rated one of the top players in the world and has been the linch-pin of the Australian Opals since making her debut at 17. In an exciting development for the Opals, they will boast a player even taller than Jackson in star on the rise, Liz Cambage standing at 203cm. Stalwart Suzy Batkovic (193cm) and debutant Jenna O'Hea (186cm) will help assert Australia's authority on the court as the team takes it to the world’s best.
This Olympiad marks the first time the entire Opals squad committed to training camps leading to the Games. Their 2011 and 2012 camps have granted them invaluable court time as a unit, a rarity with demanding international careers. This could be the year that the Opals knock off their historic rivals, USA.
In the men’s competition, the Boomers are a team with increasing depth and are proving to be a growing contender for the London 2012 medal dais in what is becoming a more competitive event. Despite star player Andrew Bogut needing ankle surgery that has ruled him out of the Olympics, international campaigners Patty Mills, Matthew Nielsen and David Andersen will look to show the world that the Boomers are a force to be reckoned with.
Every match will be crucial for the Boomers who were drawn in a star-studded pool. As well as number two seeds Spain they face number 10 China, number 13 Brazil and home-crowd favourites Great Britain.
There are 12 teams in both men’s and women’s Olympic tournaments. The teams are grouped into two pools of six, with an even spread of top seeded teams. The top four teams in each pool following the preliminary games progress to the quarter-finals where the elimination format begins.
Each team consists of 12 players, with five players per team on the court at any one time. Olympic basketball matches consist of two 20-minute halves. If the score is tied at the end of 40 minutes of play, a five-minute overtime period is played. Further overtime periods are played until the deadlock is broken.
The Competition Draw was announced in May. See the schedule for the Australian Teams below. The full schedule will be available closer to the Games.
Opals London 2012 Draw
Day 1: Sat 28 Jul, 22:15 – Australia V Great Britain
Day 3: Mon 30 Jul, 14:30 – France V Australia
Day 5: Wed 01 Aug, 14:30 – Australia V Brazil
Day 7: Fri 03 Aug, 11:15 – Russia V Australia
Day 9: Sun 05 Aug, 14:30 – Canada Australia
Boomers London 2012 Draw
Day 2: Sun 29 Jul, 11:15 – Brazil V Australia
Day 4: Tue 31 Jul, 11:15 – Australia V Spain
Day 6: Thu 2 Aug, 11:15 – Australia V China
Day 8: Sat 4 Aug, 20:00 – Great Britain V Australia
Day 10: Mon 6 Aug, 9:00 – Australia V Russia
** All times London local.
*** OQT (Olympic Qualifying Tournament)
AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC HISTORY
The Australian women have been winning medals since their bronze medal breakthrough at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. In Sydney, Athens and Beijing the Australian women won silver medals, losing to the United States on all three occasions. Also accustomed to tradition, the Australian men have placed fourth on three occasions in 1988, 1992 and 2000. In Beijing the men’s team reached the quarterfinals, finishing seventh.
To read more about the history of Australia and basketball at the Olympics click here>>>