Chantel Horvat, winning gold is “an amazing experience”
SUVA (FIBA U18 Oceania Championship 2016) - The Australian Gems came to the FIBA Under-18 Oceania Championships with one goal, and they achieved just that.
Australia’s dominant campaign culminated with a 107-52 win over New Zealand in the gold medal game. The victory sees the Gems qualify for the FIBA U19 Women’s World Championships in Italy next year.
A key cog in the Australia machine was Chantel Horvat, with 18 points and 7 rebounds, Jazmin Shelley added 17 points, Chloe Bibby produced 16 points and 8 rebounds while Ezi Magbegor chipped in with a double-double of 11 points, 10 boards and 5 blocks.
For Horvat, winning the gold is something she’ll never forget.
“It’s such an amazing experience and I’m so thankful to be able to share it with such a great group of players, coaches and staff,” Horvat said.
“We did really well and the girls are awesome, so it was such a great feeling.”
The Gems will now prepare for next year’s World Championships, but if history is any indication, they should feel confident on a global stage.
Australia took home a stunning gold medal at this year’s U17 World Championships, and the nation had eight players from that team playing at the U18 Oceania’s. This group included Magbegor, McSpadden, Jazmin Shelley, Abby Cubillo, Monique Conti, Jasmine Simmons, Sam Simons and Kiera Rowe.
After winning by an average margin of 106.4 points, the Gems will enter the U19 World Championships knowing how devastating they can be. For Horvat, she cannot wait for the event, even if she doesn’t participate.
“We are really excited,” Horvat said.
“Hopefully I make the team, but no matter what, I’m sure the girls will do great and I’m really excited.”