Following a standout performance at the U20 & Ivor Burge Championships earlier this year, ACT junior Isabelle Bourne and honorary ACT player Ashlee Hannan have been announced in the FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup Team ahead of the World Cup in Thailand next month.

Issie, a Norths Basketball Club junior, quickly rose through the ranks of Basketball ACT’s junior programs. After representing ACT at each junior championship, Issie was awarded a scholarship at the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence in 2017 and 2018.

Having recently graduated from the Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence, Bourne is currently playing for the Geelong Supercats in the NBL1 where she is averaging 10 points per game and 6 rebounds per game.

“It’s a huge honour to be announced in the team and a great feeling to know that all the hard work I’ve been putting in has paid off,” said Bourne.

“It means a lot to be representing ACT. I’ve had a lot of support throughout my junior years in ACT basketball from coaches like Phil Brown, Paula Jansen and Ray Brady that have helped me achieve my goal of going to a World Championships,” she added.

Issie Bourne at the 2019 U20 & Ivor Burge Championships

“I’ve also had a huge amount of support from my family and friends in Canberra that has helped me get this far which makes it an honour to represent my home town.”

This isn’t the first time that Bourne has donned the green and gold having represented Australia in 3×3 at the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup in 2017 where the team took home gold.

Though Bourne admits the Gems team is undersized, especially in their posts, the team is still hoping for the best and will be looking to use their athleticism and hard style of play to their advantage.

“We are definitely aiming for top 4 and to come home with a medal,” said Bourne. “It will be a tough tournament having to adjust to different styles of play so I think if we can handle that and stick together we will do really well.”

The up and coming youngster will head to America following the U19 World Cup where she will begin her scholarship at the University of Nebraska.

“I am super excited to be heading over to Nebraska after the tournament and begin my college experience!” said Bourne.

While fellow ACT U20 representative player Ashlee Hannan spent a majority of her playing career in Queensland, she is now based in Canberra following her scholarship at the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence.

“I will be representing ACT this year, as I have formally now lived in Canberra for the past two years,” said Hannan. “During this time I’ve developed an affection for the state and the people in it and am proud to call myself a Canberran!”

Ash Hannan at the 2019 U20 & Ivor Burge Championships

Having made it to the end of the selection process, Hannan says that being named in the team is an exciting opportunity and is looking forward to hitting the court next month.

“It has been a long lead up with multiple camps in the selection process, but it feels absolutely unreal to have been picked in the final team,” said Hannan. “It’s always such an immense honour to be able to put on the green & gold.”

Currently playing for the COE in the NBL1, Hannan will head to America following the World Cup where she will start her scholarship at the University of Texas alongside fellow CEO graduate, Isabelle Palmer.

“I’m so stoked to begin my next chapter at Texas and can’t wait to head over and get started!” said Hannan.

The Australian Gems 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup schedule (all times AEST):

July 20: Gems vs. USA at 3.15pm
July 21: Gems vs. Hungary at 3.15pm
July 23: Gems vs. Korea at 3.00pm
July 24: Round of 16
July 26: Quarter-Finals
July 27: Semi-Finals
July 28: Medal Games