Rocci a step closer to World Cup

Maddi Rocci.

Maddy Rocci has been announced as one of 16 Opals players who will head to training camp in preparation for the FIBA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Serbia.

The camp will be held in Sydney from January 31 to February 4.

Rocci, who grew up in Werribee and started her competitive career started with the Werribee Devils at age 11, now plays for the Southside Flyers which are based in Dandenong.

Her career highlights include two WNBL Championships, a gold medal with the Australian Under-18 Oceania Championships in 2016 and representing Australia in Under-17 and Under-19 World Championships.

Along with Rocci, her fellow Southside Flyers team members Rebecca Cole, Sara Blicavs and Abby Bishop will also attend the Sydney camp.

In addition, Tess Madgen, Ezi Magbegor and Cayla George from the Melbourne Boomers will head to the camp.

Following the camp, 12 of the players will be chosen for the FIBA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Serbia, to held from 10-13 February.

Australia has drawn Korea, Serbia and Brazil in their group at the qualifier.

Coming home following her new appointment as the New York Liberty head coach, Sandy Brondello will again take up the reigns as the Opals Head Coach at the camp in Sydney.

Brondello said that she was happy to be home and was looking forward to working closely with the squad.

“I haven’t been able to come home to Australia for way too “I have been watching the WNBL games and I’m really impressed with the performances of the girls and it’s exciting to finally get on a court with them,” she said.

“The qualifying games in Serbia will be fierce, the competition is always tough at the international level, so this camp is a pivotal time for us to prepare.

“I will be meeting some players for the first time while others I have worked with for years but that’s a great challenge to have as a coach.

“We have a lot to do in short period of time but I know this squad is committed to the task so I can’t wait to get on the plane and get started.”