Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By DENISE S. CAHILL

LOUELLA Tom­lin­son re­turned from a se­vere an­kle in­jury to be se­lected in the Opals squad for the first time and also named 2015 West Coast Waves Best De­fen­sive Player.

The 26-year-old is part of a 34-player squad that will take part in two camps and com­pete in Europe be­fore the Olympic team is an­nounced in Au­gust ahead of Rio de Janeiro next year.

“I found out about two weeks be­fore the end of the (Waves) sea­son,” Tom­lin­son said.

“The fact that I was com­ing back from in­jury gave me the big­gest boost be­cause I re­ally wanted to play.”

The Mel­bourne-raised bas­ket­baller, who joined the Waves in 2014, suf­fered lig­a­ment and ten­don dam­age to her an­kle in a match against the Dan­de­nong Rangers in De­cem­ber.

“The doc­tors said they weren’t sure if I’d be back so it was pretty scary,” Tom­lin­son said.

“This year is the qual­i­fier for the Olympics so that’s my goal.

“I’m pretty ex­cited. I’ve never been picked in the squad but I do have ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing col­lege bas­ket­ball in Amer­ica and in Europe so I can use that ex­pe­ri­ence to help me.”

Olympic medal­list and for­mer Women’s Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion player Lau­ren Jack­son is also part of the Opals squad.

“I said to my mum the other week that I couldn’t wait to play with the best play­ers in Australia, it will be a great ex­pe­ri­ence,” Tom­lin­son said.

The only West­ern Aus­tralian in the squad, Tom­lin­son is play­ing for the Wil­let­ton Tigers in the State Bas­ket­ball League this sea­son.

Ritchie Pic­ture: An­drew­mu­ni­ d434647

Louella Tom­lin­son has been picked for the Opals squad.

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