LINEN House Centre has played host to the Wellington Hurricanes and Queensland Maroons in the last year, but on Tuesday the Australian women’s basketball team were given full access to St Kilda’s elite facilities.
The Opals, who are preparing for a qualifying series ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics, spent time on the oval, in the gym and in the pool recovering from their 85-65 win over Japan last night.
Among the talented group of athletes was long-time Saints fan and 2013 WNBA champion, Rachel Jarry.
“I love the Saints,” Jarry told SAINTS.com.au.
“.. I’ve been to all the Grand Finals and I’m nuts about it. I’m stoked to be here today, that’s for sure.
“It’s hard to go past Nick Riewoldt [as my favourite player]. I just got a photo with him and I was so red. It was amazing to meet him.
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Jarry also appreciates the direction St Kilda is taking in promoting youth.
“I’ve actually been able to get to a few games this year having been in Australia for most of the season,” she said.
“I’m loving all the Jacks coming through. My mum doesn’t know any names of players so I just tell her to say ‘well done Jack’ and you’ve probably got it right.
“It’s exciting times and we’re building towards something special.”
Having won bronze at London 2012 as a 21-year-old, Jarry is working her way back to full fitness following an injury interrupted 12 months.
“We’re in the lead up to our Olympic qualifiers which are in August,” she said.
“We’ve got a few games this week against Japan so we’re in camp and working hard. We’ll get these games out of the way and then focus on New Zealand for the qualifiers.”
Jarry is one of just eight Australians to win a WNBA Championship, a feat she achieved with the Minnesota Lynx as a rookie in 2013.
She is currently on the Lynx’ roster and also part of South East Queensland’s squad in the WNBL.