Homegrown talent Georgia Amoore says she is even more determined to realise her dream of playing basketball overseas after another taste of international success.
The Year 11 student was one of just 12 players selected in the national team, which clinched bronze at the FIBA Under-17 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Belarus last week.
It comes after Amoore helped the Australian Sapphires win the inaugural FIBA Under-16 Women’s Asian Championship in India last year.
Amoore hopes the experiences will help in her bid to play college basketball in the United States, while she also has her heart set on pulling on the green and gold again.
Amoore described the world cup as fast-paced and intense compared to playing with Ballarat Rush in South East Australian Basketball League competition.
Teams only had 24 hours between games and had to adjust to varied styles of play.
The Australian Sapphires dominated the group phase, won their round of 16 and quarter-finals games comfortably, before suffering their only defeat at the hands of eventual runners-up France in a semi-final.
France made a successful comeback in the second half.
“They were tall and athletic and they really worked out quickly how we played,” Amoore said. “They took away a lot of our strengths, making it harder to score.”
But in the bronze medal match, the Sapphires were undeterred by Hungary’s lead in the fourth quarter.
“It took us a long time to realise we were playing for a medal in an international tournament, so I think towards the end everyone just turned it on and really wanted it more,” Amoore said.
She can recall the moment of realisation that the team had secured a podium place.
“One minute, we were up by four... one of our teammates hit free throws and we all just looked at each other on the bench,” Amoore said.
“I was sad because we all knew it was our last game together, but we were so happy to get a medal.”
Amoore said having family in the stands had been comforting, especially with the whirlwind of emotions the players experienced throughout the tournament.
“We had our own crowd, which was silly loud,” she said. “We had a lot of local Belarusian people go for us too - a lot of people really seemed to like Australia.”
She described standing on the podium in her Australian tracksuit with a bronze medal around her neck as an “unreal” moment yet to sink in.
Another highlight for Amoore had been the opportunity to meet basketballers from different countries, especially the United States.
Many conversations were about their future ambitions including college basketball.
“It hasn’t really sunk in and I don’t think it ever will,” Amoore said. “But I’ve become more motivated to do what I’ve planned out to do.”