Lauren Jackson changed into Australia for the first time in six years as the Opals open the FIBA Women’s World Cup against France.
See below for live game updates from Matt Logue, Megan Hustwaite, and Michael Randall.
Q1: Australia vs France
Loud cheers erupted as Lauren Jackson was introduced to the crowd at the Sydney Superdome. She’s 41 years old, but she’s a beloved figure in basketball in Australia and around the world. There is a special atmosphere tonight.
‘I hope she goes away’: Hype builds for GOAT’s return in Australia
— Matt Rogue and Megan Hustwaite
As Opals gear up for tonight’s FIBA World Cup opener against France, the specter of Lauren Jackson’s stunning comeback echoes throughout the Australian opposition.
Wearing green and gold for the first time in nine years, Jackson received an enthusiastic endorsement from Breanna Stewart, captain of Team USA, who won two WNBA championships at Jackson’s former club, the Seattle Storm.
She can’t wait to see Australia’s GOAT play in Sydney.
“Lauren’s return to play is amazing because of everything she’s been through, both mentally and physically,” said Stewart, sitting courtside for the Opal crash. Said.
“I hope she leaves. I keep telling her — I hope you have like 30 points.
“Her type when she was playing was one of the best players in the world, so to have her back now is (huge).
“To me, she’s still one of the best in the world and I think it’s great to be celebrated here.”
Earlier on Thursday, Stewart topped Belgium with 22 goals in an 87-72 win over Belgium.
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The American has now used nine players, A’Ja Wilson, Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum, a trio of Las Vegas Aces Championships, to join the team on the flight to Australia.
Stewart’s performance on Thursday was his eighth straight game scoring 20 or more in all competitions. During that run, she averaged 25.6 points per game.
In his prime, Jackson was an unstoppable force. She’s getting older and she can’t do all the things she used to do, but she believes she can do her part.
Jackson has prominently represented her country, and her honor has never been compromised whenever she wears the colors of her country.
She captained the Australian team that won the country’s first senior basketball gold medal at the 2006 World Cup in Brazil, and hoisted the Australian flag at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics six years later.
“I’m proud to be Australian. I love our country and love to wear green and gold,” Jackson said.
“For me, there is no greater honor than representing Australia, so it is very special to be able to play in the World Cup for my country and even my state.”
Women standing up at the opening ceremony
— Megan Hustwaite
On Thursday night, the women of the powerhouse took center stage at the opening ceremony of the FIBA Women’s World Cup.
Australian music sensation and hoop enthusiast Tones and I performed her smash hits Fly Away and Charlie.
Melburnian is also the No. 1 ticket holder for NBL club Melbourne United.
Breanna Stewart of the United States, the world’s best female player, has delivered the 2022 trophy to the court.
Stewart was named tournament MVP at the last World Cup in Spain in 2018.
Meanwhile, the national flags of the 12 participating countries were presented to the arena, FIBA Executive Director Andreas Zagkris addressed the Sydney crowd, and a minute’s silence was observed in honor of Her Majesty’s passing.
yao in the house
— Matt Rogue
Some of the world’s biggest basketball names are in Sydney for the Women’s World Cup, but none are as big as Chinese superstar Yao Ming.
An eight-time NBA All-Star, Ming is at Harbor City to support the Chinese women’s team.
The 7-foot-6 icon sat courtside watching his beloved Chinese beat South Korea 107-44.
Min also created a frenzy on the concourse of the Sydney Superdome, with Chinese fans chasing him for autographs and photos.
Former Opals captain still haunted by ugly Cambage Tokyo saga
Former Opals Captain Jenna O’Hea She says she’s still coming to terms with former teammate Liz Campage’s ugly exit on the eve of the Tokyo Olympics. game.
Australia will host the FIBA World Cup in Sydney. It’s his first major tournament since crippling Nigeria in the infamous practice match at Campage. Ohee says Campage’s departure, with her Olympics just a week away from her, still haunts her.
“A lot has changed, but there are still things I’m dealing with today…She left our team seven days before her first game at the Olympics last year,” Ohee told ESPN. rice field.
“Rough is an understatement.”
Ohee, who was once the towering star’s closest friend, said Cambage’s story was a big influence on Opals’ disappointing results in the 2021 game.
“With such a workhorse gone, all of our offense was centered around her and much of our defensive planning was directed here,” O’Hee said.
“So it really upset us for her to leave in a situation where she left. I think that shows in our performance and the final result.”
How the Australian Group Rivals Fought
— Matt Rogue
Australia’s Group B rivals Canada and Serbia went head-to-head in other World Cup openers.
The Canadian held on to record a hard-fought 67-60 victory over Serbia behind 13 points from center Kayla Alexander.
The Serbs have their chances and still look like a formidable team, especially if they can drop shots.
Opals will play Serbia on Sunday night at 6pm AEST and Canada on Monday night at 8.30pm AEST.
Japan, perhaps Australia’s biggest Group B threat, beat Mali comfortably 89-56.
The Japanese were very impressive, led by 17 points from shooting guard Aika Hirashita.
Australia will have a light job with Mali from 8:30pm AEST on Friday night, but will face tougher Japan in the final match of the Group B pool from 8:30pm AEST on Tuesday. Face challenges.
Team USA captain’s ominous World Cup message
Team USA, chasing their fourth consecutive World Cup title, got off to a strong start after dominating Belgium 87-72.
Captain Breanna Stewart was the star of the show, as the American declared that she was aiming to win a gold medal for teammate Britney Griner, who is being held in a Russian prison on drug possession charges. the next day.
Stewart finished with a game-high 22 points while adding four rebounds and three assists.
The two-time WNBA champion is widely regarded as the best player in the world, and it’s easy to see why after his stellar performance against Belgium.
Stewart’s impressive first World Cup display came when Team USA revealed plans to temporarily retire Griner’s No. 15 singlet during the Cup campaign in Sydney.
She said it was an expression of support for her two-time gold medal-winning teammate, who is facing controversial drug possession charges.
Stewart’s exclusive story about Griner for Newscorp was followed up on Thursday by the center’s WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury.
Phoenix posted the following tweet:
USA Basketball pays tribute to BG on the court in Sydney at the World Cup. 15 will be reserved until BG gets home.”
Team USA will face Puerto Rico in their second World Cup game on Friday at 10:30 am.
Opal to launch World Cup campaign against France
Opals will face their most important match since the Rio 2016 Olympics, kicking off their FIBA Women’s World Cup campaign against France tonight at 8:30 AEST at the Sydney Superdome.
A first victory against France is very important for Opals, given that the group includes the likes of Serbia, Canada and Japan.
France have a youthful line-up that includes guard Marine Johannes, center Sandrine Gulda and non-playing guard Bria Hartley for Sydney.
Meanwhile, the Opals welcome Lauren Jackson’s impressive comeback from a few years of retirement, returning to a strong roster of 12 after being selected at age 41.
The four-time Olympic medalist and seven-time WNBA All-Star Jackson, who first played for Opals 25 years ago, said:
“It’s a very exciting time for the girls, but it’s also a stressful time for me.” After retiring with a knee injury, he made his comeback in April and qualified for his fifth World Cup.
Opal Australia v France Women’s Basketball World Cup: Liz Campage’s Jenna Ohee, Lauren Jackson return, start time, teams, stream, TV, FIBA
Source link Opal Australia v France Women’s Basketball World Cup: Liz Campage’s Jenna Ohee, Lauren Jackson return, start time, teams, stream, TV, FIBA