Two of the country's rising Indigenous basketball stars are gearing up to represent Australia at the 2023 FIBA Oceania Championships in Papua New Guinea.
The Australian under-17 women's team, known as the Gems, will feature two Indigenous guards, Monique Bobongie (Centre of Excellence) and Teyahna Bond (NBL1).
The Gems will be led by former CoE coach Kristen Veal, now head coach with the UC Canberra Capitals in the WNBL.
This event, scheduled from October 2 to 7, marks a significant milestone as the first major FIBA competition held in Papua New Guinea since the onset of the global pandemic.
Bobongie averaged 11 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists last season with the Mackay Meteorettes alongside fellow Indigenous players including sister Denesha, Shaneice Swain and Charli Bliss.
Her and Bond were also among the 5 high-school age female players selected for the NBA Basketball Without Border camp in Abu Dhabi, earlier this year.
Ms Bond will make her debut for the Gems this year and recently starred in the NBA Basketball Without Borders camp in Abu Dhabi, earning selection in the camp's All-Star team.
In her 2022-2023 WNBL1 season, Ms Bond had some incredible moments and averaged 11.5 points, 2.8 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1 steal.
TEYAHNA BOND IS CLUTCH 🥶
Her clutch 3️⃣ gives Cairns the 83-80 win over Rockhampton!
— NBL1 (@NBL1) May 28, 2023
This year's edition of the tournament will serve as the first step in the qualification process to the 2025 FIBA U19 World Cup with the top two finishers qualifying to the 2024 FIBA U18 Asia Championship.
Australia Under-17 Women's Team for 2023 FIBA Oceania Championships
Opal Bird, Monique Bobongie, Teyahna Bond, Jade Crook, Bonnie Deas, Hilary Fuller, Sienna Harvey, Sienna Lehmann, Saffron Shiels, Lara Somfai.