Lynx star and three Wildcats in Games sides
Three Perth Wildcats and a Perth Lynx star will strive to deliver twin gold medals for Australia at the Commonwealth Games next month.
The sport makes its return to the Games after the Boomers and Opals took gold in 2006 in Melbourne, with high expectations both will deliver again.
Wildcats Damian Martin, Angus Brandt and Jesse Wagstaff joined West Australian Cameron Gliddon in the 12-man Boomers squad for Gold Coast.
Wagstaff, Martin and Brandt are firmly focused on keeping their hopes of a hat-trick of NBL championships alive against the Adelaide 36ers tomorrow night.
“We’re in the midst of a pretty important play-off series but hugely proud and pumped for Damo and Gus as well,” Wagstaff said.
“It’s obviously pretty rare (to compete in a Commonwealth Games) and especially on home soil. The chance to walk away with a medal at the Commonwealth Games, that’s a huge honour. I guess there will be a bit of expectation but we’ll embrace that.”
Lynx forward Alice Kunek will fly the flag in the Opals squad after Perth co-captain Sami Whitcomb missed out on selection, despite becoming an Australian citizen last month.
Only one naturalised player could be included in the squad, with star forward Kelsey Griffin winning the race.
“I absolutely love playing with Sam and she had such a great camp, so she was really unlucky to miss out but obviously Kelsey had a great Asia Cup and Kelsey is an incredible player, so it was probably a really hard decision for them to make,” Kunek said.
“Sam is such a great person and player but I’m sure there will be many opportunities for her in the future.”
Kunek, who is hoping to sign a new contract with the Lynx soon, denied Australia were feeling the pressure going in as hot favourites to win gold.
“If we just go about our Opals business and live the values and stick to our game style, the result will take care of itself,” she said.