SYDNEY (2010 FIBA World Championship for Women) - The United States and Australia could face each other with a world title at stake on October 3 in Karlovy Vary.
They'll square off long before then, however, in warm-up games for the FIBA World Championship for Women in the Czech Republic.
Australia, the defending world champions, will travel to China and take on the Far East giants on July 2 (Henan Province), July 4 (Jiangmen, Guangdong Province) and July 6 (Foshan, Guangdong Province).
They will then leave for America and have a training camp in Connecticut (July 7-13), the unofficial home of women’s basketball in the USA. During that camp, on July 11, the Opals will go up against the United States – the country that beat them like a drum in the gold medal game at the Beijing Olympics.
Australia internationals Tully Bevilaqua, Abby Bishop, Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor will not be on the tour of China but will be with the team at the training camp in Connecticut.
It's unclear when the four US-based players will be available again for Australia, however, as the WNBA regular season finishes on August 22.
Some, if not all, may be involved in the play-offs.
The non-WNBA players and coach Carrie Graf will leave the Connecticut training camp for Hungary and take on Romania, the Hungarians and Slovakia (July 15-17) before returning home to Victoria for a training camp in Dandenong.
The Opals will then depart Australia on September 7 for Europe and have warm-up games against the United states and Spain.
They will have another training camp (September 13-16) and tournament in Spain involving the host nation, the USA and African champions Mali.
On September 19, the Opals will leave for Ostrava, the Czech Republic, to play their Preliminary Round games.
Australia squad for Tour to China and USA: Elizabeth Cambage, Hollie Grima, Kristi Harrower, Jenna O’Hea, Alicia Poto, Samantha Richards, Jennifer Screen, Belinda Snell, Laura Summerton, Marianna Tolo and Hanna Zavecz (Joining team in the USA - Tully Bevilaqua, Abby Bishop, Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images