Australian media focuses on Olympic prospects against US for women's basketball

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Graf coaching players at the training camp
Image: Bidgee.
Marianna Tolo on Monday at the first day of the Opals training camp
Image: Bidgee.
Lauren Jackson at the first day of the Opals training camp
Image: Bidgee.
Part 1 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O'Hea speaking
Audio: LauraHale.
Part 2 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O'Hea speaking
Audio: LauraHale.
Part 3 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O'Hea speaking
Audio: LauraHale.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bruce, Canberra — On Monday, at a press conference at the Australian Institute of Sport on the first day of an Opals training camp, the media asked questions supporting this Olympic cycle's storyline that the Australian team is going to the 2012 Summer Olympics for a gold medal rematch between Australia and the United States women's national basketball team, who are once again in separate Olympic pools for the tournament. Media organisations present included Fox Sports, WIN News, the Canberra Times, and Wikimedia Australia including our reporter.

The press at the first press conference consisted of a female print journalist, four video cameras behind the two rows of seats allocated for the media, and three microphones in front of the table occupied by the national team coach Carrie Graf and national team members Lauren Jackson and Jenna O'Hea. The media contingent largely asked questions about Australia's quest for a gold medal, how worried the Australians were about the team from the United States and how much planning the team was doing in preparation to play them in the gold medal finals for the fourth time in a row. These questions mirrored an ongoing theme in the media coverage found in television media and newspaper coverage of portraying the team as one of Australia's few serious medal contenders. The other focus was on early game against Great Britain women's national basketball team, who are in the same pool as Australia, who will have an advance of playing on their home ground with at least one dual-Australian/British passport holder on the United Kingdom team and a former Australian national women's team coach leading the opposition's side.

In contrast to media questions from television and print reporters present, Graf, Jackson and O'Hea's responses made clear their goal was in the present. The coach and players were thinking about who would survive the cuts to make the team, establishing a good team dynamic and preparing for teams early in their Olympic campaign. The Australian side was not thinking ahead to the gold medal round as they believe their competition is good enough to be a worry.

The press directed most of their questions to Jackson and Graf, with O'Hea only asked a question late in the press conference.

Following the press conference, Fox Sports interviewed one of the Opals in a one-on-one interview. Another reporter followed up with Basketball Australia's media representative to ask additional questions.

In the opening session for the camp, a video photographer lined up a basketball to get a shot of a basketball in the foreground while Jackson and Suzy Batkovic-Brown shot baskets in the background.

The Opals had a training session open to the media early in the day, with six journalists recording in various media how players participated in several drills including a drill where the Opals, working in groups of three on three different courts, had one minute to attempt and make as many two point field goals as possible. In one drill set, Jennifer Snell made 22 of 28 attempts.

The final media open training session of the day, starting late in the afternoon, saw only a pair of Wikimedia Australia photographers and a Basketball Australia photographer present. The rest of the media had left much earlier in the day. The media open training camp will continue through until Friday, before the team starts a two week long training camp that will be closed to the media but not before two players are cut from a squad currently 19 strong that will be pared down to 12 by the end of next month.


Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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