WARRNAMABOOL basketball star Annie Blackburn is poised to play off for a medal tomorrow at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.
Annie’s under 18 Australia Green 3x3 basketball team notched up two wins and one loss in Thursday’s preliminary rounds. It took down Great Britain (14-2) and Combined Oceania (13-6), before suffering a narrow loss to cross-Tasman rival New Zealand (16-14).
Three-on-three is a fast-paced concept of the game now played in more than 200 countries. The half-court 3 x 3 games are 10 minutes long and action-packed.
Annie’s Australia Green side was due to tackle Indonesia, China and Australia Gold in the next round of preliminaries yesterday, but with the mercury rising to 45 degrees in the centre of Sydney, and with the 3x3 competition taking place outdoors, game play was rescheduled into late afternoon.
Basketball Australia spokesman Max Bennett said it was anticipated the Australia Green side would finish in the top four after the preliminary rounds and move into semi-finals today, where it will aim for the gold medal play-off.
Annie, 16, has been playing against some of the world’s best up-and-coming basketballers at the festival, which aims to give aspiring athletes the experience of elite sporting competitions, creating a pathway to the Olympic Games.