2011 WNBA season
The 2011 WNBA season was the 15th season of the Women's National Basketball Association. The regular season began on June 3 with the Los Angeles Sparks hosting the Minnesota Lynx, featuring 2011 WNBA Draft top pick Maya Moore, in a game televised on NBA TV. Four games followed the next day, with the marquee matchup, televised on ABC, featuring the defending champion Seattle Storm and the Phoenix Mercury in Seattle; the Minnesota Lynx finished the regular season with the best record in the league at 27-7, were the top seed in the Western Conference. The Indiana Fever were the top seed in the Eastern Conference; the Lynx advanced to face the Atlanta Dream in the 2011 WNBA Finals. The new television deal with ESPN continued during the 2011 season. For the first time teams will be paid rights fees as part of this deal; as of the 2009 season, the maximum roster size per team was reduced from 13 to 11. Any team that falls below nine players able to play due to injury, pregnancy or any other factor outside of the control of the team will, upon request, be granted a roster hardship exception allowing the team to sign an additional player or players so that the team will have nine players able to play in an upcoming game or games.
As soon as the injured player is able to play, the roster hardship player – not any other player on the roster—must be waived. On October 12, 2010, the New York Liberty named former Monarchs coach John Whisenant head coach and general manager. On October 29, 2010, Pokey Chatman was named head coach and general manager of the Chicago Sky. On November 1, 2010, the Washington Mystics announced that Julie Plank and Angela Taylor would not be returning to the team and that Trudi Lacey would take over head coach and GM positions. On December 3, 2010, Donna Orender, six-year league president, announced her resignation effective December 31. On January 11, 2011, The San Antonio Silver Stars announced that Dan Hughes would resume head coaching duties; the Washington Mystics announced a marquee sponsorship with Inova Health System on April 7, 2011. This marked the fifth team in the league to allow a sponsor to brand their uniforms. On draft day, Adidas introduced the Revolution 30 technology; the uniforms are 30% lighter than before and enable moisture management.
Unlike their NBA and NBA D-League counterparts, all WNBA uniforms underwent complete redesigns. NBA Commissioner David Stern announced on April 21, 2011 that Laurel J. Richie would assume role as president of the WNBA on May 16; the New York Liberty will play home games for the next three seasons at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, due to summer renovations at Madison Square Garden. On August 22, 2011, the WNBA announced a league-wide marquee sponsorship with Boost Mobile; the deal would allow the Boost Mobile logo to be placed on ten of the 12 teams' jerseys in addition to branding on the courts and in arenas. A source said the deal is worth "roughly $10 million over its four years" and is the richest in league history; the WNBA Draft lottery was held on November 2, 2010. The lottery teams were Minnesota Lynx, Chicago Sky and Minnesota Lynx; the top pick was awarded to Minnesota. The 2011 WNBA Draft was held on April 2011, in Bristol, Connecticut. Coverage of the first round was shown on ESPN.
Second and third round coverage was shown on ESPNU and NBA TV. The top picks were: Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx Elizabeth Cambage, Tulsa Shock Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago Sky Amber Harris, Minnesota Lynx The 2011 WNBA All-Star Game was hosted by the San Antonio Silver Stars on July 23 at the AT&T Center. Coverage of the game began at 3:30pm on ABC; this marks the first time. This is only the second time in league history that the showcase was played on the court of a Western Conference team; the following shows the leaders for each statistic during the 2011 regular season. Atlanta Dream: Marynell Meadors Chicago Sky: Pokey Chatman Connecticut Sun: Mike Thibault Indiana Fever: Lin Dunn New York Liberty: John Whisenant Washington Mystics: Trudi Lacey Los Angeles Sparks: Jennifer Gillom and Joe Bryant Minnesota Lynx: Cheryl Reeve Phoenix Mercury: Corey Gaines San Antonio Silver Stars: Dan Hughes Seattle Storm: Brian Agler Tulsa Shock: Nolan Richardson and Teresa Edwards WNBA WNBA Draft WNBA All-Star Game WNBA Playoffs WNBA Finals Official Site
The Detroit Shock were a Women's National Basketball Association team based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. They were the 2003, 2006, 2008 WNBA champions. Debuting in 1998, it was one of the league's first expansion franchises, it was the first WNBA expansion franchise to win a WNBA Championship. The team was the sister team of the Detroit Pistons and from 2002 to the 2009 season was coached by Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer. On October 20, 2009, it was announced that the Shock would be moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma to play in the new downtown arena, the BOK Center. Former men's college coach Nolan Richardson was named the team's new head coach; the Shock roster and history was retained along with the Shock name, but the team colors were changed to black and gold. The franchise is known as Dallas Wings; the Shock were one of the first WNBA expansion teams and began play in 1998. The Detroit Shock brought in a blend of rookies and veterans; the Shock's first coach was hall of famer Nancy Lieberman. The Shock would start out their inaugural season 0-4, but would put together an amazing expansion season, finish 17-13, missing out on the postseason by one game.
In 1999, the Shock finished 15-17, in a three-way tie for the playoffs with the Orlando Miracle and the Charlotte Sting. The Shock and Sting played a one-game playoff, which the Shock would lose 60-54. In 2000, the Shock would finish with a 14-18 end tied for the last seed; this time, the Shock would lose the tiebreaker and not qualify. Lieberman was replaced by Greg Williams. After the season in the 2001 WNBA Draft, the Shock would draft Deanna Nolan with the #6 pick, she would develop into the team star. The 2001 Shock would finish the season with a 10-22 record, this time tying three teams for last place in the Eastern Conference; the 2002 Shock started the season 0-10, at which point Williams was fired and replaced by former Detroit Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer. The team finished the season 9-23, but Laimbeer's ideas influenced the team's front office, who agreed with the new coach's ideas. After massive changes to the roster, Laimbeer predicted before the 2003 season that the Shock would be league champions, his prediction would unbelievably come true.
The Shock would tear up the East in the regular season, posting a 25-9 record and winning the #1 seed by 7 games. In the playoffs, the Shock would defeat the Cleveland Rockers 2-1 for their first playoff series win in franchise history. In the Conference Finals, the Shock swept the Connecticut Sun 2-0 to reach the WNBA Finals. Despite the achievements, the Shock were viewed as huge underdogs to the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Sparks, who were looking for a three-peat; the Shock would emerge victorious in the series, winning a thrilling Game Three 83-78. That game would draw the largest crowd in WNBA history. Detroit, much like the 1991 Minnesota Twins in baseball, became the first team in WNBA history to make it from last place one season to WNBA champions the next season; the Shock would stumble after their championship season and play mediocre basketball in the 2004 season. The Shock would qualify for the playoffs as the # 3 seed; the Shock would take the series against the New York Liberty the full three games, but would fall in the end 2-1.
The 2005 Shock were much like the 2004 Shock, playing mediocre basketball all season, posting a 16-18 record and make the playoffs as the #4 seed. The Shock would make a quick exit. 2005 would see the addition of former Piston star Rick Mahorn as an assistant coach to Laimbeer. The 2006 Shock came out hungry and poised for a playoff run; the Shock performed well during the regular season, posting a 23-11 record and winning the #2 seed in the playoffs. The Shock went on sweeping them in the first round. In the Conference Finals, the Shock would be matched up against the Sun; this time, the Shock emerged victorious from the hard-fought series, winning it 2-1. In the Finals, which were now best-of-five, the Shock faced the defending champion Sacramento Monarchs; the Shock lost. The Shock rallied in game 2 to up the series 1-1. Going to Sacramento, the Shock were defeated in Game Three 89-69. With their backs against the wall, the Shock dominated the Monarchs in game 4, 72-52, setting up the crucial Game 5 in Detroit.
At halftime in game 5, the Shock would find themselves down 44-36. However, in the third quarter, the Shock would outscore the Monarchs 22-9, gaining a 58-53 lead going into the final quarter; the Shock held off the Monarchs in the last quarter and win the game 78-73, the championship 3 games to 2. They became the first WNBA team to win non-consecutive championships and to win the Finals after being down 2 games to 1, they were involved in the first WNBA Finals to go 5 games. In 2007, the Shock sought to defend their title and repeat, something they were not able to do in 2004 after their 2003 Finals victory; the Shock would finish with a WNBA-best 24-10 regular season record, capture the #1 seed in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. In the first round, the Shock were favored against a New York Liberty team that wasn't predicted to make the post season, but in game 1, the Shock came out flat and were defeated 73-51. In game 2, the Shock trailed most of the game, but a late charge and missed free throws by the Liberty gave the Shock a 76-73 victory and forced a game 3.
Game 3 was a battle. In the end, the Shock would emerge the victors 71
1996 Summer Olympics
The 1996 Summer Olympics known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad known as Atlanta 1996, referred to as the Centennial Olympic Games, were an international multi-sport event, held from July 19 to August 4, 1996, in Atlanta, United States. These Games, which were the fourth Summer Olympics to be hosted by the United States, marked the century of the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens—the inaugural edition of the modern Olympic Games, they were the first since 1924 to be held in a different year from a Winter Olympics, under a new IOC practice implemented in 1994 to hold the Summer and Winter Games in alternating, even-numbered years. More than 10,000 athletes from 197 National Olympic Committees competed in 26 sports, including the Olympic debuts of beach volleyball, mountain biking, softball, as well as the new disciplines of lightwight rowing and women's football. 24 countries made their Summer Olympic debut in Atlanta, including eleven former Soviet republics participating for the first time as independent nations.
The hosting United States led the medal count with a total of 101 medals, the most gold and silver medals out of all countries. The U. S. topped the medal count for the first time since 1984, for the first time since 1968 in a non-boycotted Summer Olympics. Notable performances during competition included those of Andre Agassi—who became the first men's singles tennis player to combine a career Grand Slam with an Olympic gold medal, Donovan Bailey—who set a new world record of 9.84 for the men's 100 meters, Lilia Podkopayeva—who became the second gymnast to win an individual event gold after winning the all-round title in the same Olympics. The festivities were marred by violence on July 27, when Eric Rudolph detonated pipe bombs at Centennial Olympic Park—a downtown park, built to serve as a public focal point for the Games' festivities, injuring 111. In 2003, Rudolph confessed to the bombing and a series of related attacks on abortion centers and a gay bar, was sentenced to life in prison.
He claimed that the bombing was meant to protest the U. S. government's sanctioning of "abortion on demand". The Games turned a profit, helped by record revenue from sponsorship deals and broadcast rights, reliance on private funding, among other factors; the Games faced criticism for being overly commercialized, as well as other issues noted by European officials, such as the availability of food and transport. The event had a lasting impact on the city. Atlanta was selected on September 18, 1990, in Tokyo, over Athens, Manchester and Toronto at the 96th IOC Session; the city entered the competition as a dark horse. The US media criticized it as a second-tier city and complained of Georgia's Confederate history. However, the IOC Evaluation Commission ranked Atlanta's infrastructure and facilities the highest, while IOC members said that it could guarantee large television revenues similar to the success of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Additionally, former US ambassador to the UN and Atlanta mayor Andrew Jackson Young touted Atlanta's civil rights history and reputation for racial harmony.
Young wanted to showcase a reformed American South. The strong economy of Atlanta and improved race relations in the South helped to impress the IOC officials; the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games proposed a substantial revenue-sharing with the IOC, USOC, other NOCs. Atlanta's main rivals were Toronto, whose front-running bid that began in 1986 had chances to succeed after Canada had held a successful 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Melbourne, who hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and after Brisbane, Australia's failed bid for the 1992 games and prior to Sydney, Australia's successful 2000 Summer Olympics bid; this would be Toronto's fourth failed attempt since 1960. Greece, the home of the ancient and first modern Olympics, was considered by many observers the "natural choice" for the Centennial Games. However, Athens bid chairman Spyros Metaxa demanded that it be named as the site of the Olympics because of its "historical right due to its history", which may have caused resentment among delegates.
Furthermore, the Athens bid was described as "arrogant and poorly prepared", being regarded as "not being up to the task of coping with the modern and risk-prone extravaganza" of the current Games. Athens faced numerous obstacles, including "political instability, potential security problems, air pollution, traffic congestion and the fact that it would have to spend about $3 billion to improve its infrastructure of airports, rail lines and other amenities"; the total cost of the 1996 Summer Olympics was estimated to be around $1.7 billion. The venues and the Games themselves were funded via private investment, the only public funding came from the U. S. government for security, around $500 million of public money used on physical public infrastructure including streetscaping, road improvements, Centennial Olympic Park, expansion of the airport, improvements in public transportation, redevelopment of public housing projects. $420 million worth of tickets wer
2000 Summer Olympics
The 2000 Summer Olympic Games known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad and known as Sydney 2000 or the Millennium Olympic Games/Games of the New Millennium, were an international multi-sport event, held between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was the second time that the Summer Olympics were held in Australia, the Southern Hemisphere, the first being in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1956. Sydney was selected as the host city for the 2000 Games in 1993. Teams from 199 countries participated; the Games’ cost was estimated to be A$6.6 billion. The Games received universal acclaim, with the organisation, volunteers and Australian public being lauded in the international media. Bill Bryson from The Times called the Sydney Games "one of the most successful events on the world stage", saying that they "couldn't be better". James Mossop of the Electronic Telegraph called the Games "such a success that any city considering bidding for future Olympics must be wondering how it can reach the standards set by Sydney", while Jack Todd in the Montreal Gazette suggested that the "IOC should quit while it's ahead.
Admit there can never be a better Olympic Games, be done with it," as "Sydney was both exceptional and the best". In preparing for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Lord Coe declared the Sydney Games the "benchmark for the spirit of the Games, unquestionably" and admitting that the London organising committee "attempted in a number of ways to emulate what the Sydney Organising Committee did." These were the final Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Juan Antonio Samaranch. These were the second Olympic Games to be held in spring and is to date the most recent games not to be held in its more traditional July or August summer slot; the final medal tally was led by the United States, followed by Russia and China with host Australia at fourth place overall. Several World and Olympic records were broken during the games. With little or no controversies, the games were deemed successful with the rising standard of competition amongst nations across the world. Sydney won the right to host the Games on 24 September 1993, after being selected over Beijing, Berlin and Manchester in four rounds of voting, at the 101st IOC Session in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
The Australian city of Melbourne had lost out to Atlanta for the 1996 Summer Olympics four years earlier. Beijing lost its bid to host the games to Sydney in 1993, but was awarded the 2008 Summer Olympics in July 2001 after Sydney hosted the previous year, it would be awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics twenty-two years in 2015. Although it is impossible to know why members of the International Olympic Committee voted for Sydney over Beijing in 1993, it appears that an important role was played by Human Rights Watch's campaign to "stop Beijing" because of China's human rights record. Many in China were angry at what they saw as U. S.-led interference in the vote, the outcome contributed to rising anti-Western sentiment in China and tensions in Sino-American relations. The Oxford Olympics Study 2016 estimates the outturn cost of the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics at USD 5 billion in 2015-dollars and cost overrun at 90% in real terms; this includes sports-related costs only, that is, operational costs incurred by the organizing committee for the purpose of staging the Games, e.g. expenditures for technology, workforce, security, catering and medical services, direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build, e.g. the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, media and press center, which are required to host the Games.
Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games. The cost for Sydney 2000 compares with a cost of USD 4.6 billion for Rio 2016, USD 40–44 billion for Beijing 2008 and USD 51 billion for Sochi 2014, the most expensive Olympics in history. Average cost for the Summer Games since 1960 is USD 5.2 billion, average cost overrun is 176%. In 2000, the Auditor-General of New South Wales reported that the Sydney Games cost A$6.6 billion, with a net cost to the public between A$1.7 and A$2.4 billion. Many venues were constructed in the Sydney Olympic Park, which failed in the years following the Olympics to meet the expected bookings to meet upkeep expenses. In the years leading up to the games, funds were shifted from education and health programs to cover Olympic expenses, it has been estimated that the economic impact of the 2000 Olympics was that A$2.1 billion has been shaved from public consumption.
Economic growth was not stimulated to a net benefit and in the years after 2000, foreign tourism to NSW grew by less than tourism to Australia as a whole. A "multiplier" effect on broader economic development is not realised, as a simple "multiplier" analysis fails to capture is that resources have to be redirected from elsewhere: the building of a stadium is at the expense of other public works such as extensions to hospitals. Building sporting venues does not add to the aggregate stock of productive capital in the years following the Games: "Equestrian centres, softball compounds and man-made rapids are not useful beyond their immediate function." In the years after the games, infrastructure issues have been of growing concern to citizens those in the western suburbs of Sydney. Proposed rail links to Sydney's west have been estimated to cost in the same order of magnitude as the public expenditure on the games. Although the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was not sc
The WNBA draft is an annual draft held by the WNBA through which WNBA teams can select new players from a talent pool of college and professional women's basketball players. The first WNBA draft was held in 1997; the WNBA "requires players to be at least 22, to have completed their college eligibility, to have graduated from a four-year college or to be four years removed from high school". Since the WNBA draft is held in April, before most U. S. colleges and universities have ended their academic years, the league considers anyone scheduled to graduate in the 3 months after the draft to be a "graduate" for draft purposes. The specifics of this rule differ in several ways from those used by the NBA for its draft. Both drafts make a distinction between U. S. and "international" players. However, the definition of "international player" differs between the two drafts; the NBA defines an "international player" as an individual who has permanently resided outside the U. S. for the three years preceding the draft while playing basketball, did not complete high school education in the U.
S. and has never enrolled in a U. S. college or university. A prospective NBA player's birthplace or citizenship is not relevant to his status as an "international player". On the other hand, the WNBA defines an "international player" as "any person born and residing outside the United States who participates in the game of basketball as an amateur or professional", who has never "exercised intercollegiate basketball eligibility" in the U. S; this means that a prospective WNBA player, born in the United States is treated as a U. S. player, regardless of where she was trained in basketball. The association defines as an "international player" a prospect with non-U. S. Nationality if one of her parents is a natural-born American; the current age limit for NBA draft eligibility is 19, measured on December 31 of the calendar year of the draft. The WNBA's age limit is 20 for "international players" and 22 for U. S. players, both being measured as of December 31 of the calendar year of the draft. A WNBA prospect who graduates from college while under the age limit can be eligible, but only if the calendar year of her college graduation is no earlier than the fourth after her high school graduation.
In both drafts, players subject to the rules for U. S. players can declare early eligibility. For those players who are eligible to declare early, the timing of the declaration process is different. NBA prospects must notify the league office of their intent to enter the draft no than 60 days prior to the draft, held in June. Current rules allow prospects to withdraw from the draft and retain college eligibility, as long as they comply with NCAA rules regarding relationships with agents, do not sign a professional contract, notify the league office of their withdrawal no than 10 days after the end of the NBA Draft Combine. WNBA prospects must notify the league office no than 10 days before the draft, must renounce any remaining college eligibility to enter the draft. However, because postseason national tournaments are still ongoing during the 10 days prior to the draft, certain players who would otherwise be eligible to declare cannot do so before the standard deadline. A prospect whose team is still playing during the 10-day window must make her declaration within the 24 hours following her team's final game of the season, but no less than 3 hours before the scheduled start of the draft.
The 1997 WNBA draft was divided into three parts. The first part was the initial allocation of 16 players into individual teams. Players such as Cynthia Cooper and Michelle Timms were assigned to different teams; the second part was the WNBA Elite draft, composed of professional women's basketball players who had competed in other leagues. The last part would be the 4 rounds of the regular draft; the next three seasons to follow 1998, 1999 and 2000 would all have expansion drafts. There would not be another expansion draft until the 2006 season. All seasons before 2002 had 4 rounds. Since 2003, all drafts are 3 rounds. In 2003 and 2004, there would be dispersal drafts due to the folding of the Cleveland Rockers, Miami Sol and Portland Fire; the players were reallocated to existing teams. There were dispersal drafts in 2007 with the folding of the Charlotte Sting, 2009 with the shuttering of the Houston Comets, in 2010 when the Maloofs cast off the Sacramento Monarchs to focus their resources on the Kings franchise in the NBA.
There are no restrictions. However, college sports governing bodies, most notably the NCAA, prohibit players from competing in professional leagues with their college eligibility. Once the player has joined the WNBA, she is eligible to participate in overseas leagues during the WNBA offseason. Dena Head is the oldest #1 draft pick, having graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1992 and the first player drafted to the WNBA. Lauren Jackson is the youngest #1 draft pick, being drafted at the age of 19; as of 2012, six first picks have gone on to win WNBA Championships, with 12 rings amongst them. In the seventeen seasons that the WNBA has been in existence, eight #1 draft picks have helped lead their teams to a playoff berth in their rookie year. Notes WNBA Rookie of the Year Award
Basketball at the 2000 Summer Olympics – Women's tournament
The women's tournament of basketball at the 2000 Olympics at Sydney, Australia began on September 16 and ended on September 30, when the United States defeated Australia 76–54 for the gold medal. Preliminary round games were held at elimination games at the Sydney SuperDome. Twelve teams are split into 2 preliminary round groups of 6 teams each; the top 4 teams from each group qualify for the knockout stage. Fifth and sixth-placed teams from each group are ranked 9th–12th in two additional matches. In the quarterfinals, the matchups are as follows: A1 vs. B4, A2 vs. B3, A3 vs. B2 and A4 vs. B1; the eliminated teams at the quarterfinals are ranked 5th–8th in two additional matches. The winning teams from the quarterfinals meet in the semifinals as follows: A3/B2 vs. A1/B4 and A2/B3 vs. A4/B1; the winning teams from the semifinals dispute the gold medal. The losing teams dispute the bronze. Ties are broken via the following the criteria, with the first option used first, all the way down to the last option: Head to head results Goal average between the tied teams Goal average of the tied teams for all teams in its group The four best teams from each group advanced to the quarterfinal round.
Official Olympic Report la84foundation.org. Accessed June 10, 2011
Australia women's national basketball team
The Australian women's national basketball team is nicknamed the Opals, after the brightly coloured gemstone common to the country. From 1994 onwards, the Opals have been competitive and successful having won nine medals at official FIBA international tournaments, highlighted by a gold medal winning performance at the 2006 World Championship in Brazil. At the now-defunct regional Oceania Championship for Women, the Opals won 15 titles. Effective in 2017, FIBA combined its Asian zones for official senior competitions. Basketball arrived in Melbourne in 1905, but the first major international women’s tournament was the 1953 FIBA World Championships held in Chile. Although the Opals did not qualify for the first tournament, they did, qualify for the 1957 Championships held in Brazil. Captained by Lorraine Eiler, the Opals defeated Peru. Sixteen year-old Bronte Cockburn led the scoring for Australia with an average of 9.5 points per game, but the inexperienced team finished in 10th place. Since the Opals have helped increase the popularity of the sport in Australia.
Australia would not get the opportunity to participate at the 1959 World Championship held in Moscow because at the time, the Australian Government would not allow the team to travel to the USSR. The Opals would not qualify for a World Championship again until the 1967 contest in Czechoslovakia. With an new team and a single victory over Italy, Australia finished in 10th position for the second time. Team captain, Jean Forster, led the scoring for Australia with an average of 21.2 points per game, with a tournament high of 34 against Brazil. Her 21.2 points per game would remain unchallenged for 35 years. In 1971, the Opals travelled once again to Brazil. Led by new head coach Merv Harris, featuring Jill Hammond, the team made several improvements with only three players from the 1967 squad selected. Although the Opals finished in ninth place, they had victories over Madagascar, Argentina and Canada. In 1975, the team headed to Colombia with Jim Madigan. Despite a 74–25 confidence building win over Senegal, as well as victories over Japan and Hungary, the team finished in 10th place.
The 1976 Olympics held in Montreal marked the first Olympic medals awarded for women’s basketball, but Opals did not qualify for the tournament. Their next major competition would be the 1979 World Championships in South Korea, which would prove to be their first taste of success; the coach again was Jim Madigan, the squad featured some of the faces of the Opals for the next decade such as Jenny Cheesman, Robyn Maher, Julie Nykiel, Karin Maar and Patricia Mickan. The team would have early success defeating Italy and France, as well as thrashing Malaysia 119–14. Australia would lose their next three games, but bounced back winning their final game over Japan to finish in fourth place, their best international result to that time. In the early days of women’s Olympic basketball, only six countries competed in the tournament, the host country received an automatic entry. Therefore, there were 22 countries competing for the remaining five spots in 1980 Olympics held in Moscow. In the preliminary tournament, the Opals fell to the USA and Hungary, did not qualify for the Olympics.
Three years the team traveled to Brazil for the 1983 World Championships, looking to demonstrate that their 1979 success was no accident. Despite an early victory over Japan, Australia finished in 11th place; the Opals were not expected to participate at the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles. However, following the decision by Cuba to boycott the games, the door was opened for the Opals to compete in their first Olympics. Led by head coach Brendan Flynn, team captain Jenny Cheesman, the Opals played competitively in every game, but finished fifth out of the six teams; the next tournament for the Opals was the 1986 World Championships in Moscow. The first game against Hungary was a two overtime thriller that the Opals lost 79–77; the game set the tone for the tournament, despite some close finishes against the top rated teams, Australia finished in ninth place. The Opals headed into the 1988 Seoul Olympics with a medal hope, but they lost the first game to host nation Korea; the Opals bounced back and defeated Bulgaria, meaning that only the powerful Soviet Union stood between them and a semi-finals berth.
In a major upset, the Opals defeated the USSR 60 -- 48. In a memorable game, the Opals lost a contested game at the buzzer 57–56, sending them to a rematch with the USSR for the bronze medal. Motivated by the previous loss, the USSR came out determined and outplayed the Opals 68–53. Despite the loss, the fourth-place finish equalled the Opals’ previous best international placing. Building from their success at Seoul, the Opals headed to Malaysia for the 1990 World Championships with high hopes; the team won their first two games against Malaysia and Italy, before suffering a string of losses to Bulgaria, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. In their final game, the Opals came back from seven point halftime deficit to beat Bulgaria 73–71 and finish in sixth place. Fifteen teams competed for the five open spots at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, despite a respectable 4–2 record at the preliminary tournament, the Opals did not qualify. Two years Australia played host to the 1994 FIBA World Championships.
Led by guard Shelley Sandie's 11.9 points per game, the team scored victories over Japan, Italy and Canada to set up a semi-finals match against China. The Opals held an early lead, but China mounted a second half