???Canberra basketballer Issie Bourne took the first steps in what could be an unlikely Olympic Games journey after helping Australian win a three-on-on three tournament in Mongolia.
Bourne, 16, was named the tournament most valuable player after teaming up with fellow Canberra juniors Sarah McAppion and Carlie Smith as well as former Capitals guard Chantella Perera.
Three-on-three is now a ratified Olympic sport and Australia is chasing qualification points to earn a spot at the Tokyo Games in 2020.
Bourne's experience in the shortened version was limited to practice sessions before she was picked in the Basketball Australia squad to play in Ulaanbaatar.
But the 187 centimetre forward, who made her Australian under-17 debut earlier this year, admits she could consider pursuing more three-on-three exposure to chase an Olympic goal.
"It was different to anything I've done before, it was my first time but I was excited for something new," Bourne said after arriving in Sydney on Tuesday.
"I really enjoyed it and we did pretty well, so it's something I would definitely do again.
"I've played three-on-three at training, but that was the first time I've played it properly. It's definitely much more physical and there are more tactics, so it's quite different to the normal game."
Bourne has been earmarked as a future Canberra Capitals star and was part of the WNBL club's extended squad last year before earning a Centre of Excellence scholarship at the AIS.
Her sister Callie is on the Capitals roster as they aim to resurrect their season when they play the Sydney Flames twice in three days this week.
The Capitals will drive to Sydney on Thursday morning and play on Thursday night before returning home to play the Flames at the National Convention Centre on Saturday night.
Marquee recruit Rachel Jarry has been cleared to return after she was concussed in a training clash against Lauren Scherf last week.
The Capitals have vowed to muscle up in the hope of ending a five-game losing streak, but concede they face a massive challenge against the defending champions.
"It was tough [not having Jarry] and that was my fault," Scherf laughed.
"It's going to be great to have her back as a good player and her leadership. She went smack, bang straight into my shoulder and I felt bad ... these things happen.
"I feel like the older players are trying to make this a positive and confident environment. The younger players do sometimes get down, but we're staying positive and happy.
"I think there will be a different attitude this week ... we'll come out a lot harder."
WNBL ROUND FIVE
Thursday: Sydney Flames v Capitals at Brydens Stadium, 7pm
Saturday: Capitals v Sydney Flames at National Convention Centre, 3pm