Basketball SA would like to acknowledge Amy Howard, the South Australian representative from the Australian Pearls who recently competed in the National Championships in Japan.
Amy is a fantastic representative for Australia, Women in Sport and Athletes with an Intellectual Disability. She is also a role model for aspiring younger SA players and we wish her all the best in her upcoming trials with the Ivor Burge team, competing next February at the Australian Championships.
The Australian Pearls were invited by the Japanese Basketball Federation to compete in their National Championships, and then to play a “friendly” game against their National team.
Coach Larry Davidson was excited about the opportunity – “We are ranked number 1 in the world, and this trip gives us an excellent opportunity to further develop as a team against one of the world’s toughest competitors. The Japanese women play a very physical game.” Supplementing our two most experienced players, the team included two players returning from a break, four players on their second tour and two rookies experiencing their first trip as Australian players.
The tour began with a warm-up game against a local high school and although out-scored, the Australian Pearls played a tough and competitive match.
Over two days of the National Championships the Pearls played against six Japanese teams – this gave Coach Davidson many opportunities to get all players onto the court. Although the hot weather was energy draining, the Pearls defeated each of these Japanese teams.
On Monday, 8 August, the Australian Pearls played against the Japanese National team/squad (15 players). It was, as expected, a very physical game but the discipline and structure of the Pearls game, combined with a significant height advantage allowed the Pearls to take and hold a lead for the entire game. The final score was 54-41. Eliza (EJ) Mills (15 pts) and Molly Urquhart-Moran (12 pts) dominated at the offensive end, both scoring relatively freely. Kim Perry (10 pts) made an excellent return to the team collecting board at both ends of the court and making valuable baskets. Kaitlyn Papworth, also returning to the team after a break for athletics, played a significant role as point guard. Brittany Anderson (11 pts) continues to impress with her tough offensive plays. Taylor Anderson, Amy Howard and Kate Leckenby all came off the bench understanding the toughness of the game and performed well. First timers, Evie Patterson and Sam Williver, both gained valuable experience understanding the Pearls structured plays and the toughness required to play at the international level of basketball.
Coach Davidson was very pleased with the performance on and off the court. “This was a great trip for the Pearls, enabling us to gain valuable international experience and further build a strong team for next year’s World Championships. I’m very proud of this group and the way they have performed in Japan.”
For any further enquiries, please contact:
Manager, Australian Pearls
M: +61 418 369061